Man shot dead in police standoff in Melbourne

A man has been fatally shot by police on a busy Melbourne freeway.

Police were called to an on-ramp on the Monash Freeway in the city’s southeast about 9.30am after reports a “distressed” man was armed.

It is believed responding officers were negotiating with the 53-year-old when he was shot by police and died at the scene at the Eastlink interchange in Dandenong North.

Aerial images show a body on the road.

Police said there was no ongoing threat to the community. One officer was “slightly” injured.

A commuter who called the ABC said, “There’s a stand-off with a male… (the police) have guns drawn on him”.

Dozens of detectives have arrived at the scene.

Homicide Squad detectives will investigate the incident which will be oversighted by Professional Standards Command, as per protocol when a police firearm is discharged.

Speaking to media at the scene, Southern Metropolitan Region Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill said they had received a call there was a distressed man on the side of the freeway, parked in the emergency lane.

“There was certainly some agitation on behalf of the male,” he said.

“We tried to negotiate with the male. We tried to actually calm the male down.

“At a point during that course of negotiation, the male has produced a knife and advanced on the police members. It was during that encounter that, firstly, our police tried – attempted a tactical withdrawal.”

Commissioner Hill said the man continued to advance on police.

“There was then a non-lethal force used upon the male to stop him advancing,” he said.

“ That was unsuccessful. Then the police resorted to lethal force, a semiautomatic firearm was then discharged. The member shot that male in the chest.

“We believe at least two shots were fired. As a consequence, that male has died on the side of the road.”

Commissioner Hill said it was a “tragic and sad” event.

He said they would be reviewing footage from body camera, traffic cameras and anyone with dashcam footage who drove past.

He said police were still trying to figure out what motivated the man but it appeared he was having a mental episode.

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt told The Herald Sun they were providing support for members involved.

“Our understanding is that members have acted in self-defence, operating in an extremely dangerous environment,” he said.

City-bound lanes of the Monash Freeway are closed at Heatherton Road.

Drivers heading toward Melbourne from the southeast have been urged to exit the Monash Freeway and use the Princes Highway instead.

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