• Yuendumu community have called for Kumanjayi Walker case to remain in central desert (NITV News) (AAP)Source: AAP
A young Warlpiri man has died after being shot by police in the central desert community of Yuendumu overnight.
By
Rachael Hocking, Madeline Hayman-Reber

Source:
NITV News
10 Nov 2019 - 9:45 AM  UPDATED 10 Nov 2019 - 5:26 PM

The community is calling for justice after hearing news that a 19-year-old man has died after being shot on Saturday night in the central desert community of Yuendumu, around 4.5 hours north-west of Alice Springs.

The family has given permission for NITV News to name the victim as Kumanjayi Walker. Elders are calling for NT Police to leave the community.

"We are all sad here in Yuendumu today. We have lost a beautiful young fella," Warlpiri elder Ned Hargraves told NITV News.

"We want justice."

Police said an altercation occurred sometime after 7.15pm, when two police officers attended a residence within the community and attempted to arrest Mr Walker for "alleged property and assault police offences". 

"An altercation has occurred between the male and one of the officers, resulting in an officer being stabbed in the shoulder. That officer has subsequently discharged his firearm wounding the man," a statement reads.

Mr Walker's time of death has not been confirmed, but police said he died shortly after being shot. 

There were no medical staff in the community at the time of the shooting. Police said an ambulance from a nearby town was sent to assist and that police performed first aid. 

Mr Hargraves said family and community members were prevented by police from seeing the young man in Yuendumu on Saturday night and that they were not notified Mr Walker had died until after 7am ACST on Sunday morning.  

Mr Hargraves said an aircraft landed in the community around 10pm, which he believed at the time was transporting Mr Walker to Alice Springs for medical assistance. 

A source close to the family of the victim described the actions of NT police in the community on Saturday night as “mongrel behaviour”.

“The community is terrified. They’re very, very angry. The police are not cooperating with the family or community leaders," the source told NITV News.

NT Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Michael White addressed the media in Darwin on Sunday, declaring the death a death in custody.

Mr White said two officers attended the property to act on a warrant on an alleged breach of parole conditions.

"During that time a struggle ensued and two shots were fired and he sadly passed away later," he said.

Mr White claimed the officer involved in the incident was acting in self defence after allegedly obtaining a shoulder wound.

When asked if officers were carrying non-lethal weapons, such as tasers or pepper spray, Mr White said he didn't have that information but that he "would assume so".

He said questions surrounding why a fire arm was used instead was a matter for the Coroner.

NITV News has confirmed that the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) was not notified at any point during the night as is a legal requirement through the Custody Notification Service. NAAJA has demanded a meeting with the NT Police Commissioner.

The community is now in sorry business.