A man wielding a large carving knife was shot dead by police officers in Sydney’s inner west on Wednesday night after a Taser they tried to deploy failed to operate, police say.
Emergency services were called to a unit in Franklyn Street, Glebe, about 11.50pm on Wednesday over reports that a man had harmed himself.
Arriving at the scene, police officers walked to an apartment with blood covering the door and floor of the entrance, said Assistant Commissioner Commander Central Metropolitan Region Tony Cook at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Two police officers knocked on the door to no answer, and then entered the unit, Cook said. A man with a carving knife – approximately 30 centimetres long – approached them from inside the unit. He was “very clearly … suffering injuries to himself”, Cook said.
One officer deployed a Taser, but Cook said the device was “inoperative”, which caused the second officer to shoot one round from their firearm.
It “struck the man, and he is deceased as a result,” he said. Ambulance crews were called to the scene, but were unable to save the man.
The man was known to police “in a range of circumstances”, Cook said.
NSW Police have formed a critical incident investigation team to examine the circumstances of the death. The investigation will be independently reviewed.
On Thursday morning, police had cornered off the section of the unit block where the incident occurred.
The unit block is the property of Housing NSW.
Farahnaz Moshiri has lived in the apartment complex for 23 years. She said the man who was shot dead was “quiet” but had known mental health problems.
“I am so sorry he’s passed away,” she said.
Ross Laehy, who lives on nearby Greek Street, said he was woken up by bright police lights, as his property looks over the unit block.
“It’s sad for whoever got shot. It’s usually a pretty quiet place,” he said.
Laehy said he joined a recent petition to stop the demolition of the public housing block, which was set to be replaced with 12-storey apartment blocks.
Around the unit blocks, multiple signs can be seen hung up stating: “No evictions of housing tenants. Action for public housing.”
Father Sha Mani, whose daughter lives in the units with her mother, said the block was “very different” to those in the affluent nearby streets.
“It is quiet but sometimes gets rowdy,” he said about the area.
“Lots of people move in and out, and you can sometimes hear yelling. Sometimes you come and can see needles on the ground.”
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