Police in Hornsby, Australia responded to reports of a knife-wielding man in a shopping center. There were reports that the perp shouted the “jihadi mating call” before lunging at police. At the same time, the perp was also reported missing from a local psychiatric facility. As I have reported in the past, the media excels at obfuscating jihadi attacks, but unlike the Moscow beheading-nanny who was also reported to be “mentally-ill”, I am more willing to give authorities benefit of the doubt if the person had in fact been admitted to a facility.
When multiple readers sent me this story (please send all tips to email@example.com) I thought that it was a mass stabbing incident. It turns out that errant police rounds struck 3 elderly women bystanders, possibly from ricochets from shots aimed at the perp’s legs.
Defending his officers’ use of guns rather than tasers, Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford described it as a “life or death situation”.
“It will be alleged the man approached the police with the large carving knife. The officers each fired shots at the offender,” he said, adding that the man, in his 20s, was wounded several times.
“Unfortunately some bystanders were also injured with either bullet or fragment wounds. All up we have four people that have been injured through gunfire.”
Asked if it was appropriate to fire guns in a busy shopping centre, he replied: “That’s alarming, but I wonder what may have happened had the police not intervened and stopped this person with the knife.”
All of the injured were stable in hospital with a police investigation into the shooting underway, he added.
Witnesses said the man was ranting and lunged at police officers before he was shot in the stomach.
“It’s just chaos down here at the moment,” Adam Stratton, a butcher, told Channel Nine. “I saw four people down with blood streaming out of them… It was just like, what the hell is going on?”
Geoff Milner, a local businessman, said the man wandered through an outdoor market with a knife and appeared to be waiting for the police to arrive.
“When I walked out of the cafe he was just standing there, like he was waiting for them [the police officers],” he told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. “The female officer asked him to put the knife down and she drew her gun. He lunged at her, he ran at her, then the officers split and sort of stood aside. I heard two shots but he didn’t go down.’’
Granted, the video below is pretty choppy, but I can understand the decision to use deadly force. The perp was definitely not responding and the situation was devolving. If they were shooting at the perp’s legs instead of center-mass, that might be a problem as it runs counter to everything I have learned about US police training. I have no idea what Aussie cops are taught. It wouldn’t be the first time poor police marksmanship has wounded bystanders.