A 32-year-old Indian national Mohamed Rahmathullah Syed Ahmed was on Tuesday shot dead by Australian Police after he allegedly stabbed a cleaner and threatened police officers with a knife, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The Indian Consulate General in Australia identified that the attacker was from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and was living in Auburn on a bridging visa.
Detectives are investigating whether mental health played a role in the incident. According to detectives, Ahmed stabbed a cleaner and then threatened police officers with a knife before being fatally shot by the police.
Ahmed attacked the 28-year-old cleaner at Auburn train station in Sydney’s west at 12.03 am on Tuesday before arriving at Auburn police station about five minutes later, reported The Sydney Morning Herald citing police.
Indian Consulate General in Australia, as quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald, said: “The incident is extremely disturbing and unfortunate. We have formally taken up the matter with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NSW Office as well as state police authorities.”
When two officers tried to leave the police station to respond to reports of the stabbing, they were confronted by Ahmed, who tried to attack them.
Following the attack, the senior officer fired three shots, two of which hit Syed Ahmed in the chest. A probationary constable used her Taser on the man.
Though Syed was treated at the scene by paramedics and was rushed to Westmead Hospital, he was pronounced dead just after 1:30 am, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, at a press conference on Tuesday, said the officers had just seconds to respond and were left with no choice but to shoot the man.
“I fully support these officers. It’s traumatic. It’s a significant incident at one of our police stations,” he said.
“There just isn’t an impending time. It is immediate. He launches through the glass doors at the officers; they had very little time to react.”
Smith said the counter-terrorism unit would be brought in to help in the investigation.
Asked about the role of the counter-terrorism unit, Smith said “it’s part of our model in terms of response. Obviously, when someone armed themselves with a knife and stabs an individual and then tries to attack police, which is the CCTV footage, [it] is highly concerning. When that’s involved, it triggers a number of intelligence responses and investigative responses which we’re dealing with,” Smith said, as quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald.
Syed Ahmed had five previous interactions with police, all of which were non-criminal and COVID related. Smith said mental health would be a significant line of inquiry.
Detectives have already spoken to the cleaner, who was taken to Westmead Hospital in a stable condition, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. (ANI)