Woman critical, man shot dead by police in Gladstone Park in Melbourne's north-west

| 16.07,20. 11:37 PM |

Woman critical, man shot dead by police in Gladstone Park in Melbourne's north-west

Homicide Squad detectives will investigate the shooting.(ABC News: James Oaten)

A man has been shot dead by police after they received reports he was seriously assaulting a woman in a park in Melbourne's north-west.

The woman was taken to hospital in a critical condition after the incident in a park at Gladstone Park around 3:30pm.

Assistant Police Commissioner Luke Cornelius said police were called after reports a man aged in his 30s was "seriously assaulting an older female".

"Upon arrival, members have discharged their firearms resulting in the death of that male," he said.

Assistant Commissioner Cornelius said it was a "tragic event" and "a horrendous crime".

"We understand that the parties were known to each other … we're very confident that this was not a random attack," he said.

'Frenzied attack', police say
Assistant Commissioner Cornelius said police were not physically injured but were "terribly shaken up".

He said based on what he had been told, the police officers had acted appropriately.

"They've been decisive, they've taken action and they have acted in a way to keep the community safe and stop what was a frenzied attack from continuing," he said.

"These were junior members, early in their career, and they've found themselves having to make one of the worst possible decisions that any member has to make in their career.

"So my heart goes out to them, we're going to wrap our arms around those members and assure them of our support."

He said the officers had called out to the man to stop the attack but he had refused, so the officers had "done their best to stop a terrible attack from continuing".

Assistant Commissioner Cornelius said witnesses had described the attack as a stabbing.

"It's not clear to us as yet what weapon, if any weapon was used in the assault but certainly stabbing motions were described to us," he said.

Shots fired 30 seconds after police arrived
He said the man was known to police but did not have a criminal record.

There had been recent police contact with the man but Assistant Commissioner Cornelius said there had been nothing to indicate that "the events of today might have occurred".

He said the shooting took place within 30 seconds of police arriving at the scene.

"A lot happens in 30 seconds, including time to issue a warning, time to give a person an opportunity to accede to that warning … if those warnings aren't complied with and they continue in attacking another individual then of course police have to take action."

Witnesses report hearing four gunshots
Police said there were numerous witnesses to the incident and asked people with information to contact them.

One woman, who lives in the street backing on to the park, said she saw police while she was outside doing gardening.

"I saw two policemen running down through the reserve and then I heard four gunshots and then just multitudes of police cars came," she said.

Another man at the scene said it was a quiet area.

"I feel sorry for the police officer that had to do it," he said.

Victoria Police said Homicide Squad detectives would investigate the shooting.

Their investigation would be overseen by Professional Standards Command "as per protocol when a police firearm is discharged", a police statement said.


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