Police in Melbourne have shot dead a teenager who stabbed two officers and was reportedly making threats involving the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.
Two police officers, one from Victoria Police and an AFP officer, were taken to hospital with stab wounds, after an altercation shortly before 8pm local time.
Reports say there are connections between the suspect and recent government operations against suspected ISIS-linked cells in Australia. The Age reports that this is the result of an operation spanning two to three years.
News Corp reports Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said police had arranged to meet with the Narre Warren man because of concerns about his behaviour, and that this meeting descended into chaos.
The man killed had been “under surveillance and it is believed he was one of 50 men who recently had their passport cancelled.”
He was 18 years old, police say.
It follows an extraordinary fortnight in Australia’s security environment, in which the terrorism threat level has been raised to “high” for the first time ever and where an ISIS leader has named Australians as targets, urging supporters to “kill them in any way possible”.
It all went down at Endeavour Hills in Melbourne’s south-east.
Here’s part of the statement from Victoria Police:
Police are currently at the scene of a police shooting in Endeavour Hills.
It is understood a Victoria Police member and an AFP member, from the Joint Counter Terrorism Team, met an 18-year-old man at Endeavour Hills police station on Heatherton Road in relation to an ongoing investigation.
It is believed an altercation has occurred about 7.45pm outside the police station, resulting in the stabbing of the two police members.
One of the officers has then discharged his firearm, fatally shooting the 18-year-old man.
Both police officers were taken to hospital and are in a stable condition.
Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius and AFP Commander Bruce Giles brief the media last night telling reporters that the man killed:
was invited and did come of his own free will to the police station. It’s also clear to us that our members had no inkling that this individual posed a threat to them and as far as we were concerned it was going to be an amicable discussion about that individuals behaviour.
It’s also clear to us that that individual without any warning to our members produced a knife and proceeded to assail them with the knife occasioning serious injury to both those members and it’s absolutely clear to us that our members really had no choice other than to act in the way in which they did.
Assistant Commissioner Cornelius confirmed that the attacker was shot by a member of the Victorian Police and Victorian Police later tweeted that both officers were in a stable condition.
AFP Commander Giles would not confirm that the man was also carrying an ISIS flag saying that, “there is intelligence to suggest that that incident may have happened but we are still confirming all the details to bring the details all together on that incident.”
Both officers stressed continually that this man was acting alone.
More to come.
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