• The family of Grant Ross, a mentally-ill man in prison after being shot by police, say they're concerned for his wellbeing. (Supplied)
The family of a mentally-ill Aboriginal man, shot by police in Far North Queensland after allegedly threatening officers with a knife, is seeking answers after the man is charged with several offences.
By
Ella Archibald-Binge

10 Jan 2019 - 4:40 PM  UPDATED 10 Jan 2019 - 4:40 PM

A mentally-ill Aboriginal man who was shot by police in Cooktown last month has been charged with a string of offences, including two counts of serious assault on police and going armed to cause fear. 

Police say an officer shot the man - since identified as Grant William Ross - after he allegedly threatened them with a knife.

The incident occurred while police were responding to a disturbance at Savage Street on the morning of December 11.

Officers provided first aid before the 40-year-old was flown to Cairns Hospital where he remained in a critical but stable condition.

He was arrested upon his release from hospital late last month and charged with four offences.

His family say he is now being held on remand at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre near Mareeba after being denied bail. 

His older brother, Shane Ross, says the family has received little information from police or the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS). 

"Nobody’s told us what’s going on," Mr Ross told NITV News.

"I don’t even know what they charged him for. They’re sorta keeping us family in the dark, like everything’s happening behind our back."

Mr Ross said he didn't witness the incident, but claims an investigator from the Ethical Standards Command (ESC) showed him a recording from a police officer's body-worn camera.

He claimed the footage appeared to show his brother with his hands raised, standing "about a car length" away from police before the shooting occurred.

He acknowledges that his brother was holding a knife.

"He was telling the police ‘why are you fellas looking for me?'" Mr Ross said.

A Queensland Police spokesman confirmed there was body-worn-camera footage of the incident, which would form part of an internal investigation by the ESC.

Margaret Thaiday - the man's aunt based on Palm Island - questioned the series of procedural decisions that led to the incident.

"Why didn’t they have a police liaison officer with him? And why were there shots fired and not a taser gun?" said Ms Thaiday, who is helping the family navigate the legal process.

Mr Ross said his brother has a mental condition for which he receives weekly voluntary injections to "calm him down, stop him from getting fidgety".

"I just want him home so I can look after him."

Ms Thaiday said she was extremely concerned for his well-being.

"We don’t know what type of care he’s getting, or what type of attention he’s getting up there for starters," she said.

"The second thing is, he’s in shock. He doesn’t know what’s really going on. He’s probably felt he’s been abandoned."

ATSILS declined to comment on the case while the matter was under police investigation.

READ MORE:
Indigenous man 'lucky to be alive' after being shot by Queensland Police
The man was shot by police in Far North Queensland after allegedly threatening officers with a knife.