Police shoot teenager Tyler Cassidy dead in Northcote, Melbourne.
THE family of a 15-year-old shot dead by police at a Melbourne skate park has vowed to fight to find out what happened.
Police said Tyler Cassidy yelled: "Kill me, I'm going to kill you," as officers warned him to put down his weapons and capsicum spray twice failed to subdue him.
"I promise you my darling, I will fight for you as you were taken from me under the most horrific circumstances," the victim's mother Shani said.
"Why was he slayed to death when it was so unnecessary? Four officers were not capable of managing the situation."
"We look forward to a serious and thorough investigation and inquest into why Tyler was killed and to the serious nature of the attending officers' actions."
The youth died after being shot in the chest by three police officers in a skatepark at the All Nations park near the Northcote Plaza Shopping Centre.
Police today rejected family claims they were "trigger happy" after the teenager's death.
It has emerged that Tyler joined the "white pride" anti-immigration group Southern Cross Soldiers four months ago.
Members of the Southern Cross Soldiers, who admit having criminals and neo-Nazis in their ranks, are among those who have left tributes on his MySpace page.
One of those who knew Tyler, and attests to his violent temper, told the Herald Sun that unless the police shot Tyler, he would have made good on his threat to kill the officer.
"Since he joined the SCS and started hanging out some mates he called 'skinhead mates' he started drinking excessively and getting much more violent," Tyler's former friend said.
"The officers that shot him most definitely had good reason with the way he was and if they didn't do what they did he wouldn't have stopped."
A witness to the shooting, Hariet Stewart, said she heard seven shots fired, the Herald Sun reports.
Police say Tyler had threatened them with kitchen knives stolen from a Kmart store before they were forced to fire.
Ms Stewart, 29, who lives close to the All Nations Park in Northcote where the shooting happened, was walking home from the shops when she saw the teen running around carrying two knives.
Im not easily scared and I quickly went into hiding myself, having seen him, but he was just a kid," she said.
From what I could tell, he looked like he was either incredibly angry or on ice or something.
I thought perhaps he had a vendetta."
Police have strongly defended their handling of the drama and said they were left with no choice.
I dont believe that police are trigger-happy," Assistant Commissioner Tim Cartwright told reporters this morning.
"This is a dreadful tragedy to lose a young man, both for police and the community."
The entire incident took less than three minutes to unfold, but police had done everything possible to avoid his death, he said.
"They've ultimately had no choice," Mr Cartwright said.
He said this morning that a female constable from Preston was among three members who fired their guns. The others were a leading senior constable and a senior constable from Northcote.
Police have refused to say whether the use of Tasers might have saved Mr Cassidy's life, but their union has renewed calls for permission to use the devices.
Mr Cartwright said police followed training that taught them to aim for the "central body mass" of an attacker.
"In the movies you can shoot to disarm people, but thats not what happens in our experience," he said.
Police shoot teenager dead in stand-off
Victorian police shot a 15-year-old boy dead after he allegedly threatened them with knives in Melbourne's inner-east last night.
Police say three officers shot the boy after the use of capsicum spray had no effect.
Homicide and Ethical Standards police are investigating the shooting.
Police say the stand-off started when officers were called to Northcote Plaza about 9:40pm (AEDT) and found a boy in the car park holding two knives.
Two police officers walked up to the teenager and tried to speak with him.
They say he then ran to a nearby skate park, where he again threatened officers with two knives.
When he continued acting aggressively police used capsicum spray but it had no effect.
It is believed the teenager then approached one of the officers, waving the knives.
Police again tried to calm him but he continued to threaten them.
Assistant Commissioner Tim Cartwright says officers had no choice but to open fire.
"He's continued to approach them at which stage three of the four members have fired at the young man, fatally wounding him," he said.
"He's fallen to the ground and died at the scene.
"We shouldn't lose members of the community this way. We train our police members, they foamed him, they've talked to him, they've done what they can. It's a dreadful event."
Police are investigating reports the teenager stole the knives from a shop inside Northcote Plaza.
Father Peter Norden from the Victorian Criminal Justice Coalition wants an independent investigation into the fatal shooting.
He is warning against a "closed shop" investigation by police, to justify the use of deadly force.
"The use of capsicum spray and a violent confrontation is often the worst possible response to a young person displaying emotional or psychiatric symptoms," he said.
"The Victorian community calls for a more sophisticated response in dealing with disturbed individuals, particularly very young people."
this happened in a park i used to frequent a lot. from what i've read and watched in the news, it sounds like the kid was trying to get the cops to shoot him. the police tried talking him down, and pepper spraying him twice. i really don't think tasers would've subdued him if the spray didn't work. both of those things don't work on everyone, especially if you're on drugs or completely lost your shit. he was running around threatening people and telling them to call the cops. he ran into a liquor shop, threatenting the employees and telling them to call the cops. the cops have just done what they're trained to do. they talked him down, didn't work. pepper sprayed him twice, didn't work. and when he started advancing on one of the policemen saying he'd kill them, they shot him. the guns our cops use here aren't the most powerful from what i've been told, so it's understandable to fire a few times. just unfortunate that the three of them reacted together.
what do you think? excessive? could the police have done more to stop the kid? do you think they responded to their training reasonably? unreasonably?