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Police have detailed how two of their officers shot and killed an armed man in a Kalgoorlie alleyway on Friday afternoon, saying he repeatedly ignored warnings to stay back.
On Saturday Assistant Commissioner of regional WA Darryl Gaunt said police were called to an incident about 12.15pm off Whitlock Street in South Kalgoorlie, where a 58-year-old father and grandfather was found holding a handgun.
The shooting happened in south Kalgoorlie.Credit: Nine News Perth
The man did not have a firearms license, he said.
“He was some distance away when the police pulled up,” Gaunt said.
“He made his way towards them, was given numerous warnings not to do so [but] continued. The police officers withdrew and moved backwards but he continued to confront them and that was at the time he was shot.
“Certainly he moved towards them at quite a rate and towards where they were standing taking cover. There were at least, at this stage, three shots identified as being fired.”
Gaunt said two of the three officers who attended the scene discharged their weapons and that they immediately provided first aid to the victim.
The man did not fire any shots at police, he said.
Three St John Ambulance crews attended, but police later confirmed the man had died in Kalgoorlie Hospital.
“Our condolences go out to the family of the gentleman concerned, it’s obviously a tragic incident for everyone involved, for the family, his loved ones and for our officers,” Gaunt said.
He added that the officers who attended the scene – two of whom had only been in the force for four years – had acted with great courage.
“From the body worn video that I’ve seen, the officers acted with great courage and extremely professionally and in accordance with their training,” he said.
“I have great admiration for the job that they did and the courage that they showed in this instance, albeit we acknowledge the death of the gentleman and that’s a tragedy for his family as well.”
The 58-year-old was a local man who had lived and worked in Kalgoorlie for some time, Gaunt said.
“There is nothing in what we know about this gentleman that would suggest any ideology or any other issues that would have led to him making this decision but that will be a strong focus of the investigation,” he said.
The man’s gun will also be subject to a “full ballistics investigation”, Gaunt said, to establish “whether it was loaded and what condition it was in.”
On Saturday the area of the shooting was still cordoned off as Major Crime Division detectives analysed the scene.
Gaunt said the officers involved were in “good spirits” and were being offered support, as were the family of the man involved.
“Regardless of what happens in these instances, a life has been lost, that takes a toll on our people and we will continue to support them,” he said.
“The family has lost a loved one, they’re dealing with grief regardless of how it occurred. They’re doing it tough but they’re getting significant support.”
The death will now be subject to a coroner’s inquiry.
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