| 28.05,20. 01:20 PM |
Police shoot man dead following 'stand-off' on Melbourne's Monash Freeway
Motorists have been told to use other routes.(ABC News)
Police have shot dead a man they say was armed with a knife on Melbourne's Monash Freeway after what a witness described as a "stand-off".
Southern Metropolitan Region Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill said that police arrived at the scene about 10:00am after reports of a "distressed male" on the side of the freeway, parked in the emergency lane near the Eastlink interchange at Dandenong North.
Assistant Commissioner Hill said the man was "agitated".
"We tried to negotiate with the male, we tried to actually calm the male down," he said.
"At a point during that course of negotiation, the male has produced a knife and advanced on the police members."
The police attempted a tactical withdrawal but the man continued to advance, he said.
After an attempt to use "non-lethal force" failed to stop him advancing, the police shot the man in the chest and he died at the scene, Assistant Commissioner Hill said
A police statement earlier said Homicide Squad detectives would investigate the incident with oversight from Professional Standards Command "as per protocol when a police firearm is discharged".
A witness who identified himself as Ben told ABC Radio Melbourne earlier and described the incident as "stand-off" between a man aged about 50 or 60 and police.
"They had guns drawn on the assailant," Ben said.
"I don't know if it was a pursuit and they have pulled him up over there or why he's in that position."
Another witness, Terry Leehain, whose truck was about five cars back from the scene, said a VicRoads vehicle was already parked behind the man's car when police arrived.
"We didn't know what was going on but they were talking to a gentleman. Everything was fine," he said. "It went for about five minutes and he was a little bit agitated. He was moving around."
Mr Leehain said he didn't see what happened when the man was shot.
"There were four shots," he said.
He said the incident lasted 10 to 15 minutes.
VicTraffic has advised motorists to avoid the area.
"If you're heading towards Melbourne from the south-east, exit the Monash Freeway and use the Princes Highway instead," an alert said. "Allow extra time."