Officers had “no other alternative” than to shoot dead a man allegedly threatening them with a knife on a Queensland party strip, the police union says.
It’s also emerged multiple people witnessed the incident after footage was posted to social media.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: The moment man was shot dead by police in Airlie Beach
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“Oi, they just f****** shot him,” a man is heard to say in the footage.
Another witness could be heard saying: “Everyone’s wildin’ over this dude getting shot dead by a copper. Holy s***”.
Queensland Police say officers were on Shute Harbour Road in Airlie Beach around 12.20am on Saturday when they were approached by a 24-year-old man allegedly armed with a knife.
It’s alleged he advanced towards the officers, who drew their weapons and gave some verbal commands.
Police fired four to five shots when the man continued towards them.
Queensland Police Union boss Ian Leavers said the man was talking with police “and all of a sudden produced a knife from his hoodie and started threatening police”.
“The police have tried to further engage and they have retreated and moved from that location, and tried and continue to communicate with that male person,” Leavers said.
“(He) has then, at a point, has lunged at police and they’ve had no other alternative but to use their firearm.
“Police did all they could to try and resolve this matter peacefully.”
According to police, the officers performed first aid on the man who was then transported to Proserpine Hospital.
The man, who had been working in Townsville but was from Western Australia, was declared dead a short time later.
Superintendent Graeme Paine said the officers involved were well-trained to identify and respond to different threats.
“The officers have done that. They do go through a process, even when it’s a split-second thing,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“The officers do make an assessment and act based on that assessment.”
Superintendent Paine said police were reviewing CCTV footage of the incident and speaking with several witnesses.
They were investigating if the man had been involved in other incidents earlier in the night and why he was carrying a knife in such a busy public area.
Superintendent Paine said police were also investigating why the man approached police.
“It’s a tragic circumstance for the family of the young man and also for the officers involved,” he said.
A crime scene was established on Shute Harbour Road and investigations are ongoing.