CHRIS UHLMANN: First this morning, a Melbourne man has been shot
dead by counter-terrorism police after attacking two officers with a
The 18 year old Narre Warren man was invited to a police station to answer questions about recent suspicious behaviour.
When police greeted him, he stabbed a federal agent several times and a Victoria Police officer twice. Victoria Police say its officer had no choice but to shoot.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) won't confirm reports the man's passport had been suspended, nor whether he'd played a role in the chatter that led to the dramatic escalation in security at Parliament House.
Rachael Brown reports.
RACHAEL BROWN: Officers from the Joint Counter-Terrorism Team had been watching this 18 year old Narre Warren man for a short time.
He accepted their request to attend the Endeavour Hills police station, south-east of Melbourne, to answer some questions.
There was a handshake; then the 18 year old stabbed an AFP officer multiple times, then attacked a Victoria Police officer, who shot him dead.
The assistant commissioner, Luke Cornelius:
LUKE CORNELIUS: Our members really had no choice other than to act in the way in which they did.
Now I am sure that I will face some criticism for making those points, but I want to be really clear here. This is not an exercise in police seeking to single out particular individuals in the community.
Where we see individuals in the community behaving in a way which causes a concern for public safety, we have to reach out to those individuals and do what we can to understand what it is that they might be planning to do.
RACHAEL BROWN: Just what this plan might have entailed isn't clear, but police had heard reports of the man previously displaying the Islamic State flag.
They wouldn't confirm his name nor his occupation.
And both the assistant commissioner and the AFP commander, Bruce Giles, wouldn't comment on how he fits into the wider picture of Australia's heightened security risk.
(Question to Luke Cornelius) Assistant commissioner, can you confirm or deny that the deceased was part of the so-called "chatter" that led to the increased security at Canberra's Parliament House?
LUKE CORNELIUS: The threat level was raised by our Prime Minister not in response to a specific threat but more in response to the global situation.
RACHAEL BROWN: We understand his passport had been recently suspended?
LUKE CORNELIUS: Look, I'm not in a position to comment on that. Maybe my colleague from the AFP might.
BRUCE GILES: It's very early days in the investigation. I think it's important to reiterate that the individual was invited to the police station and he came of his own free will this evening.
RACHAEL BROWN: It isn't lost on assistant commissioner Cornelius this police shooting could stir up resentment and reprisals.
LUKE CORNELIUS: Of course I'm worried about it, which is why we've gone to extraordinary lengths tonight to try and explain the circumstances.
Nature abhors a vacuum and it's very much my judgement call and the judgement call of my colleagues that in these circumstances we should be fulsome in the information that we provide to you so that that absence of information isn't filled by speculation and doesn't lead to the sorts of concerns that might arise in a community where there's an absence of information, timely information.
RACHAEL BROWN: He's paid his respects to the man's family.
LUKE CORNELIUS: My heart and my regret and concern goes out to them, but also of course I am very concerned about the safety of my members.
RACHAEL BROWN: The injured officers were taken to hospital and are in a stable condition.
Assistant commissioner Cornelius again:
LUKE CORNELIUS: Information is the life blood of our safety and our security and if something doesn't look right then you should call it.
RACHAEL BROWN: The Homicide Squad is investigating the shooting, overseen by members of Professional Standards Command.
CHRIS UHLMANN: Rachael Brown reporting.