An 18-year-old was shot dead by police in the Melbourne suburb of Endeavour Hills last night.
Despite the few facts currently released to the public, the police – one a counter-terrorism officer, the other a Victorian police officer – have been praised for their professionalism by no less than the Prime Minister himself who has referred to it as a “nasty incident”.
Meanwhile, the Narre Warren teenager, whose family is reportedly Afghani, has been dubbed a “known terror suspect”, by the Justice Minister Michael Keenan.
The man has reportedly been in the sights of security agencies, and was one of several Australians who have had their passports cancelled over the preceding months, there are unconfirmed reports he “may” have displayed the black flag commonly associated with Sunni militant group the Islamic State.
Mr Keenan today told reporters the shooting “appeared to be in self-defence”.
According to media reports, the teenager met with the two officers outside Endeavour Hills police station last night, where he stabbed them before first shaking their hand.
There were initial reports the teenager had made threats against the Prime Minister, who is currently on a plane to New York to participate in Security Council talks on the alleged threat of Islamic State to the west.
While those reports are still being promoted by outlets , the Australian Federal Police told media today that “there were no specific threats made”.
Although there are few facts about the situation that lead to the teenager’s death, Mr Abbott today filmed a video statement from Hawaii praising the police officers for their professionalism.
“The suspect did mount a fierce attack on both officers. One of them was very seriously hurt. The other one fired on the suspect who is now dead.
“Obviously this indicates there are people in our community who are capable of very extreme acts. It also indicate police will be constantly vigilant to protect us against people who would do us harm.
Mr Abbott said investigations were continuing but he had already spoken to the wives of the two police officers, to assure them “of government support”.
Mr Abbott did not mention whether he had spoken to the family of the teenager.
Police are saying they had no choice but to shoot the teenager.
The Islamic Council of Victoria have raised concerns that police statements have been pre-emptive.
“The police have come out very clearly and almost have said it was the young man’s fault, and I don’t know in the fall of time that may prove to be the case, but I think within a couple of hours I was disappointed,” the council secretary Ghaith Krayem told 3AW radio.
“I think we need to allow the processes to play out and the facts to be known because the family quite frankly is really struggling.”
Mr Krayem told the radio station while the teenager had previously had contact the group Al-Furqan, which were raided by police in 2002, he wasn’t recently associated with them.
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