Four people suffered from gunshot wounds after police opened fire at a knife-wielding man during midday on Thursday. The incident took place outside the Westfield shopping center at Hornsby, and it was reported that the knifeman had escaped from a psychiatric facility.
Aged 23, the knifeman was hit in the stomach and arms when two police officers fired to take the situation under control. The man is known to have escaped from the nearby psychiatric center yesterday and was babbling and incoherently ranting outside the shopping mall before he attacked the police. Witnesses said that the attacker was barefoot and looked really depressed.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford speaks after the incident, said that they have identified him as a 23-year-old Jerry Sourian. Assistant Commissioner Clifford also said the he was reported missing from yesterday, and police were making efforts to try and locate him. Assistant Commissioner Clifford said two officers, a male and a female, fired their weapons after the knifeman lunged at the female officer with a long carving knife. Witnesses claimed the man had been screaming and shouting at the officers before the officers shot him in the stomach.
Assistant Commissioner Clifford said two officers, a male and a female, fired their weapons after the knifeman lunged at the female officer with a long carving knife. Witnesses claimed the man had been screaming and shouting at the officers before the officers shot him in the stomach. Along with the knifemen, three other women between the age of 60 and 80 have been injured by the bullet itself or fragment wounds. The two police officers who discharged their firearms had reacted quickly, taking the situation into consideration.
Along with the knifemen, three other women between the age of 60 and 80 have been injured by the bullet itself or fragment wounds. The two police officers who discharged their firearms had reacted quickly taking into consideration of the situation.
A NSW Ambulance spokesman said paramedics were called to Florence Street, just before midday on Thursday. Four people were taken to Royal North Shore Hospital under police escort. Mr. Sourian is in a serious but stable condition and two women, aged 82 and 65, are also in stable conditions. The NSW Health Department will also undertake a review led by Dr. Murray Wright into the incident.
“Police had to make a very critical decision on the actions they took,” Clifford told reporters at the scene. Footage later released by David Henry on Twitter shows several police officers surrounding a person lying on the ground.
An eyewitness from the Java Lava Café on Floresence street, Magdy Abdalla, told the Australian Associated Press he had heard gunshots and immediately went onto to the floor. He said, “I told all of the customers just to stay on the floor.” He later said he was scared when he heard the shooting. He later reported that he saw a young, skinny man lying on the ground with police officers coming by in some minutes.
Another witness, David Allars, wrote the following on Facebook.
“So was sitting having a coffee at Hornsby mall when I heard 3 shots go off about 50m from where I was and all these people started screaming and running.”
The Hornsby Organic Food Market just before midday on Thursday was a busy place at the time of the shooting, while many shoppers were gathered around the stalls for everyday purchases and sells.
The officers who viewed CCTV footage told this occurred in a matter of seconds. Speaking with the reporters at the scene, Clifford told that there is a range of tactical option and analysis to be made by police in any critical situation. With that in mind, no one can dictate what is to be done in an actual sense. It’s a matter of life and death, and police who are involved in that situation must understand these possibilities fast enough to eradicate maximum harm and loss.
“In this case, the officers have made a decision. But we do know they were dealing with a person with a rather large knife who came at the officer, wonder what may have happened if police did not intervene and stop this person with the knife,” Clifford said in an interview.
[Photo via Joshua Lott/Getty Images]