Police in Melbourne last night shot dead an 18-year-old man after he stabbed two officers and was reportedly making threats involving Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
In an address to media, AFP acting commissioner Andrew Colvin said there were “no specific threats made”, rather “a range of factors” which sparked Police’s interest in the deceased.
Colvin said the deceased was a “person of interest for national security reasons”.
Police had been monitoring the man for about three months and it was the “escalation of his activity” which caused concern, Colvin said.
Victorian Police chief commissioner Ken Lay said, “It’s true to say late last week we learned of some behaviours that were causing us significant concern and our interest was heightened.”
Colvin confirmed the man’s passport was suspended about a week ago on security grounds.
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 last night.
One officer had a “serious slash across his arm”, the other officer had knife wounds to his neck, stomach and head. He was operated on overnight and is in a serious but stable condition.
“Both these police officers were simply doing their job,” Lay said, adding “This has been a confronting reminder” about the realities which can present themselves while on the beat.
“It is important to remember that extremist behaviour has nothing to do with faith,” he said.
The incident and the death are being investigated by the Victorian homicide squad.
Colvin said the shooting and stabbing was a tragic incident.
“He is someone who has been known to us for some time,” Colvin said of the young man.
Addressing the media today Victorian premier Denis Napthine said “this is an incident resulting from the actions of one individual.”
He said it isn’t “about faith” and it’s “critical that no particular group is singled out or targeted”.
“This single incident shouldn’t change how you go about your business on a daily basis.”
He advised Victorians to be alert and report any suspicious activities.
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