VIC: Shot man lost all in Black Saturday fires, neighbour says
15 May 2009 12:52 AM
MELBOURNE, May 15 AAP - A man shot and wounded by police in a backyard altercation in Melbourne's north lost everything in the Black Saturday fires, a neighbour says.
The wounded man, aged about 50, had surgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital following the shooting in Gerbert Street, Broadmeadows shortly before 6pm (AEST) on Thursday.
Neighbour Pat Haymond told The Age newspaper the man had recently moved into a bungalow at the back of the main house after he lost his home in the February 7 bushfires, which killed 173 people.
Ms Haymond said the man had been asked to move on from the bungalow because his mate, who owned the house, was moving out.
Victoria Police Superintendent Jack Blayney said three detectives from Moreland CIU visited the house concerned about telephone calls from the man threatening self-harm.
The man is known to Moreland detectives in relation to a current criminal matter.
When the three - a male detective sergeant and two detective senior constables, a man and a woman - arrived at the house, the man confronted the sergeant with a knife, Superintendent Blayney said.
He used capsicum spray on the man but the man continued threatening with the knife, he said.
Another detective entered the yard and demanded the man drop the knife.
"He failed to do so and continued to advance on the member and at that point the member drew his firearm and continued to request that the man drop the knife, and then fired a number of shots at the male," Superintendent Blayney told reporters at the scene.
The wounded man jumped a side fence and fled to a nearby park.
The detectives pursued him but lost him in the dark.
Passers-by found the man on busy Camp Road about 600 metres from the house a short time later.
The man was conscious and able to talk.
He was rushed to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a serious but stable condition with upper body injuries.
Independent police investigators will examine the shooting, overseen by the police ethical standards department.
The detective who fired on the man has been offered support by the force, Supt Blayney said.
Police have not said how many shots were fired but Chantelle Tobias who lives across the street said she heard a volley of shots.
"We heard about five or six gunshots and then a female screamed. She yelled 'dad' or something like that," Ms Tobias told AAP.