‘I’ll kill her’: Man’s threats before shooting
Police have shot a man after reports he was brandishing a knife close to a Sydney supermarket.
Emergency services were called to Alexander Ave in North Willoughby shortly before 11.30am on Thursday following reports of a man threatening residents.
The two responding officers were allegedly confronted by a man, who was armed with two knives, before a constable discharged their firearm.
The man died at the scene.
Witnesses have said that the man knocked on doors in the area and was heard threatening residents before officers arrived.
“It was like 11am and there was this crying sound (of) ‘I’ll kill her, I’ll kill her’,” local man Mujahid Torwali told The Daily Telegraph.
“Soon, after five or 10 minutes, they were like firing (gunshots), maybe three or four. And then after 10 to 15 minutes there was police everywhere.”
Mr Torwali was inside a home nearby with his 10-year-old son when they overheard the incident.
The pair are originally from North Pakistan in an area controlled by the Taliban.
“[My son] was asking me, ‘Papa what’s going on?’ He said, ‘You’re telling me that these kind of things happen in Australia,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Assistant Commissioner Leanne McCusker confirmed that the man was behaving “erratically” toward members of the public and that multiple calls to police were issued.
“[He was] behaving aggressively, was chasing people down the street, was approaching neighbours and was approaching various homes,” Ms McCusker said.
“As police arrived, they were confronted by this man at this stage.” She said that the man, who was known to police, was armed with two “large” chef knives.
“He ran at police, one of the police officers then discharged a firearm,” she said.
There were no other injuries reported.
A critical incident team from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad will investigate all circumstances surrounding the man’s death, including the discharge of a police firearm.
The investigation will be subject to an independent review and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.
Ms McCusker confirmed that officers were wearing body cameras during the incident, which will form part of the investigation.
She said she plans to review the footage but has not yet seen it.
Another witness Jakelin Troy said she heard “high-pitched screaming” 10 minutes before shots were fired.
“I thought I heard a scream; I thought it was a child or something like that,” she told the Daily Mail.
“I was really alarmed, because I was thinking, ‘That’s a lot of gunshots.’ I thought, ‘What’s going to happen next?’
“You don’t want to be around when there’s shooting.”
She added that the incident was unexpected in “sleepy North Willoughby”.
2GB radio host Ben Fordham was reportedly in the area when the shooting occurred and called into the radio station to warn locals to be aware.
“First and foremost for anyone around the area, if you can be aware that there is a very serious police operation that is underway around Willoughby at the moment,” he told host Deborah Knight.
“You’d be wise to avoid it if you possibly can.
“Gunshots have been heard in the area of Willoughby.”
An employee at the nearby Harris Farm supermarket said staff did not hear the shooting, but were informed of incident by customers.
The incident follows a difficult week for NSW Police after 95-year-old Cooma dementia patient Clare Nowland died overnight.
Mrs Nowland was allegedly tasered by police responding to claims she was holding a steak knife inside her aged care facility.