Australia

NSW fatal shooting police had 'no choice', inquest hears

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An armed man fatally shot by police at one of Australia's busiest train stations took a sprinter's pose before charging at an officer, a NSW court has heard.

The police officers who fired on an armed man during a fatal peak-hour shooting in Sydney's CBD say they had no other choice.

Danukul Mokmool was shot dead after arming himself with scissors and running at police on the packed Eddy Avenue concourse outside Central Station on 26 July in 2017.

Two plain-clothed officers, senior constables Frederick Tse and Jakob Harrison, told an inquest they fired after the 30-year-old charged at Snr Const Tse.

"I didn't want to, but he really gave me no choice," Snr Const Tse told the NSW Coroners Court on Tuesday.

The court was told four officers, including two in plain clothes, arrived about 20 seconds earlier to see an armed man pacing in a small florist shop and a crowd of commuters watching on.

Putting themselves between commuters and the shop, the police formed a semi-circle around the shop entrance, drew their guns and demanded the Heckenberg man drop his weapons, the inquest was told.

Supaporn Chomphoo, mother of Danukul Mokmool, arrives at the Lidcombe Coroners Court in Sydney.
Supaporn Chomphoo, mother of Danukul Mokmool, arrives at the Lidcombe Coroners Court in Sydney.
AAP

Snr Const Tse said Mr Mokmool calmly stated "I'm not giving up, shoot me" before a uniformed officer fired capsicum spray at him, to no apparent effect.

"A second or so later, he looked at me and yelled 'I'm going to kill you'," the senior constable said.

"His demeanour changed and he just charged ... in the running posture but running with his blades."

Snr Const Tse said he moved about three paces back but realised Mr Mokmool was quickly closing the seven-metre gap between them.

"He got within three metres, I let off three rounds. He fell to the ground," he said.

Snr Const Harrison said he recalled a uniformed officer calling for a Taser to be brought to the scene but didn't remember the armed man saying 'I'm going to kill you'.

He stated he thought there was more time for dialogue but then Mr Mokmool took up a "sprinter's pose" and ran quickly at his partner.

Snr Const Harrison fired his weapon once, deciding there was no other option available to stop Mr Mokmool.

"If I hadn't used my firearm, (Snr Const Tse) could have been grievously injured, if not killed," he said.

Snr Const Harrison, who had previously had training on how to deal with mentally ill people, said Mr Mokmool didn't appear to want to de-escalate.

"There was not enough time to assess his state of mind."

Issues being considered at the inquest include whether Mr Mokmool was suffering from a mental health illness, how he was treated for previous mental health conditions and whether alternatives to lethal force were available.

Snr Const Tse conceded, under questioning by a lawyer for Mr Mokmool's family, that he "possibly" rushed into a "vulnerable, unsafe position" when he arrived on scene and glanced inside the shop for other people.

He accepted that it was "probably not ideal" multiple officers were yelling at Mr Mokmool to drop his weapons.

"Did you think to yourself 'this fellow ... sure, he has these bladed items but he's not actually threatening anyone'?" family lawyer Bill de Mars asked.

"No," Snr Const Tse replied.

The inquest continues.

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