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VIC: Officer shot at teen's legs before fatal shots fired:report

16 Dec 2008 2:21 AM

MELBOURNE, Dec 16 AAP - One of the three police officers who shot and killed a teenage boy reportedly tried to shoot his legs as he advanced on them, allegedly wielding two stolen knives.

Tyler Cassidy, 15, was shot and killed by three of four officers he confronted in a skate park in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote on Thursday night. Cassidy had allegedly threatened to kill them with the knives.

Tyler lured police to the scene with two hoax calls reporting an emergency near the scene where he died, The Age said.

Un-named police sources told the newspaper one of the officers who shot at the boy tried to shoot his legs in a bid to incapacitate him.

Officers failed to subdue him with two blasts of capsicum spray and warning shots as he advanced.

When Tyler continued to advance, three of the four police involved in the shooting fired at his body until he fell.

Tyler died at the scene.

The report said Tyler was hit twice in the legs and twice in the chest and several other shots missed him.

The officer who did not shoot said she could not because another officer was in her line of fire, The Age said.

Tyler had allegedly armed himself with knives stolen from a KMart store at the nearby Northcote Plaza shopping centre, the newspaper said.

The first hoax phone call reported an aggressive man armed with a shotgun at a Northcote building site.

Police arrived at the location but declared the reports false because there was no building site in the area.

Minutes later, he told KMart patrons and staff to call the police or he would start killing.

Meanwhile, a woman who saw Tyler minutes before he was gunned down, has used a letter to The Age to deny the boy was aggressive before his death.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she and her partner were confronted by Tyler after he left the KMart.

She said they felt "nervous maybe, but not threatened".

"I did not encounter someone `violent and irrational' or `angry'," the woman wrote.

"I cannot comment on his behaviour before when he was in the shopping centre, or after when he was with the police, but I can remark on our short encounter with him minutes before he was shot.

"He patted our dog on his way to the skate park."

The woman said Tyler was "a kid who needed to sit down and talk".

Tyler's funeral will be held at St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Queens Parade at 2pm (AEDT) on Thursday.