Officers feared for their lives when they fatally shot an “enraged” man armed with a knife who continued to threaten them even after being hit with a Taser, a senior Queensland policeman says.
Liam Scorsese, 31, has died in hospital after he was shot by an officer attending a disturbance at a house in the eastern Brisbane suburb of Wakerley.
The Gold Coast man was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in a critical condition on Sunday, but later died.
The ABC understands Mr Scorsese has links to bikies, and has had contact with police a number of times over the years.
Acting Chief Superintendent Mick Niland said officers were called to a disturbance at a house in Goulburn Street shortly before 10am.
He said the man was “armed” and “enraged”, and was trying to break into the house at the address.
Superintendent Niland said two officers who were in the area at the time responded “within minutes” to a call from someone at the house saying the man was trying to break in.
“He was armed, he has threatened police and as a result of those threats one officer has fired two shots,” Chief Superintendent Niland said.
“I understand that he has threatened the residents — they were in fear of their lives.”
He said the two officers involved likewise feared for their lives and that they initially fired a Taser at the man.
“I understand that after utilising the Taser, police retreated away from the offender,” Chief Superintendent Niland said.
“The offender has followed with a knife, threatening police.”
He said a neighbour helped the officers perform CPR on the man before he was taken away in an ambulance.
Police ethical standards command is investigating the shooting with the assistance of the Crime and Corruption Commission.
It is the second police shooting in south-east Queensland in less than a fortnight.
On Valentine’s Day a 16-year-old boy was shot in the Ipswich suburb of Springfield while allegedly threatening officers with a knife.
The teenager who was shot was later charged over that incident.
Officer yelled out ‘shots fired’
Leo DeMarco lives down the road and heard the shots fired.
“I was here in the car loading a freezer and I heard some yelling, a male voice,” he said.
“Within a couple of seconds I heard shot, shot. I came out and looked up there and saw there was a male and a female officer, both with guns drawn.
“I heard him, obviously he must have been on his walkie-talkie or whatever because he sort of yelled out or said, ‘shots fired’.
“The male officer slowly made his way toward where the body was, still with gun drawn.
“Then after that, probably a minute lapsed. They holstered their weapons then they both walked toward the body, then sirens galore.”
Trenton Schreurs, who also lives nearby in Wakerley, said it was a quiet neighbourhood.
“I came home from a morning at work and found the street to be all blocked off,” he said.
“I’ve heard that there’s been a police incident, a shooting, which is particularly unusual for the area.
“Nothing really happens here, nothing untoward, so it’s all a little bit shocking.
“The neighbourhood’s full of parks and full of kids, so it’s a bit of a shock to come home on a Sunday afternoon to see your streets taped off with police tape.”