A BRIT man has been shot dead by police in Australia after pulling out a pocket knife during a confrontation with police officers.
Luke Gilbert’s devastated family has blasted the trigger-happy officers for firing five shots after an alleged standoff, claiming they used excessive force.
The 24-year-old had been spending an evening with his girlfriend in Airlie Beach, Queensland, on October 1 when the incident took place.
According to his loved ones, Luke “approached two police officers” after going outside a pub to smoke while his partner stayed inside.
His brother Zac explained in a Facebook post, “They were talking and then Luke pulled out a pocket knife for reasons currently unknown.”
Police officers claim he then lunged at them with the gun in the busy party strip and saw officers fire five shots at the 24-year-old.
Queensland Police Union President Ian Leavers said the Brit “advanced” officers, leaving them “no other alternative”.
He said: “The police tried to get involved further and they backed off and moved away from that place and tried to continue communicating with this male person.
“The police have done everything possible to resolve this matter peacefully.”
Luke, who moved to Perth at the age of five with his younger brother and parents Nicola and Darren, is said to have received first aid from officers involved at the scene.
The Manchester-born carpenter was then taken to Proserpine Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
His heartbroken family have now accused police of using excessive force and condemned them for taking up arms “negligently”.
Zac wrote: “There is much speculation in the media as to the circumstances surrounding the loss of my brother, but the truth is that excessive force was used against him that killed him and that can never be reversed.
“She [the police] didn’t try the taser, the baton, or the pepper spray first, they went straight to guns without a care.
“Life will never be the same again. He deserves much better. I can’t believe this happened.”
When asked why police don’t use tasers, Acting Deputy Commissioner Marcus Hill said “they are effective in certain circumstances.”
Desperate for answers
“But if people advance with a knife, that’s probably not part of it,” he said on Sunday.
Luke’s loved ones are now struggling with the fact that he was “dead within minutes” during what appeared to be a normal night out with his partner.
His grieving aunt Gina told the Manchester Evening News the family was “in shock” and “desperate for answers”.
The 49-year-old sobbed: “That’s not the person Luke was. He was a lovely person, he was on the move and full of life. People loved him.
“The family will not be told anything directly by the police. They had no connection at all.
“You don’t get shot in 10 minutes if you sit in a pub and have a good night.”
You won’t get shot in 10 minutes sitting in a pub and having a good night.
Gina said Luke, who is also survived by a teenage sister, Katie, was “in good spirits” on the fateful evening with his girlfriend.
She continued: “She went to the bathroom or for a drink and he went outside to smoke.
“When he didn’t come back, she rang his cell phone and got no answer. Then she went outside and saw what happened. He was shot outside.
“I don’t know where to start. It was such a shock. There’s a lot of families over here and Luke has visited a few times.
“Luke underwent an autopsy this morning. He was shot three times in the chest and one of them went right through him. They fired five times and two bullets went through nearby car windows.
“There will obviously be an internal investigation, but that was a lovely boy. He was 4,000 kilometers from his mother,” she said.
“They sent two police officers to her home and didn’t even tell her that he had been shot by the police. They gave her a card and told her to call a coroner Monday morning.
“We’ve heard some conflicting reports and we don’t know what to make of it. There is a report that says he approached them and, for unknown reasons, drew a knife and lunged at the officers.
“In another report, he ran towards her across a street with a knife. The knife they are talking about is a fishing knife, like a pocket knife that we would use for camping.
“We just don’t know what to believe. There are so many sides to this story, but the biggest is how the family was treated afterwards. I just want to try to provide some kind of support to my family.
“Even if he had some sort of mental episode from using such deadly force … it seems odd.”
A GoFundMe appeal has been launched to support the family.
According to reports, several people witnessed the shooting and footage of it was shared on social media.
In a statement provided to MEN, Queensland Police said: “A man in his 20s, believed to be armed with a knife, was fatally shot by police in Airlie Beach this morning (October 1).
“Preliminary inquiries show that police were on Shute Harbor Road at around 12.20am when they were approached by the man.
“The man is said to have threatened officers approaching them and was then shot.
“Officials immediately administered first aid to the man who was being transported to Proserpine Hospital, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.
“A crime scene has been established on Shute Harbor Road and the investigation is ongoing.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6390954/brit-man-shot-dead-by-police-australia-pen-knife/ The 24-year-old Briton was shot dead by police in Australia “after pulling out a pocket knife” as the family slammed “trigger-happy” cops