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Perth: Australian police shoot dead armed teenager after stabbing attack that showed ‘hallmarks’ of terror

Australian Broadcasting Company/AP

Western Australian Police Commissioner Col Blanch said the stabbing in Perth, Australia, had the “hallmarks” of a terror attack.



CNN

Australian police have shot dead a teenage boy after stabbing a wounded man in an attack that had the “hallmarks” of terror, authorities said.

The teenager, described as a 16-year-old white male, was armed with a knife when he carried out the attack in a Perth suburb, Western Australia (WA) Premier Roger Cook said.

WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch said the attack has “the hallmarks” of a terrorist act, adding it “meets the criteria or at least the definition” of this type of crime.

Blanch said local police received a call Saturday evening from a man indicating he was “going to commit acts of violence.”

Police received another call minutes later from a person reporting a man running around with a knife, Blanch continued. Police responded immediately to that call, he said, and three officers were dispatched.

When officers arrived on the scene, they were confronted by the teen, who was alone and holding a “large kitchen knife,” Blanch said.

The officers ordered him to put the knife down, but the suspect refused and rushed to the police. Two Tasers were deployed and when they failed to subdue him, the third officer “fired a single shot, fatally wounding the man,” Blanch continued.

Police discovered after the shooting that the teen had stabbed and wounded a middle-aged man prior to his confrontation with police.

The victim is currently in serious but stable condition in hospital with a wound to his back, Blanch said.

The teen was known to police prior to the incident, Blanch said, because “he had been part of an online radicalization program in recent years.”

“We are dealing with complex issues with this 16-year-old male, both mental health issues and online radicalization issues,” Blanch said.

The program focused on highlighting violent extremism for those exhibiting concerning behavior, Blanch said.

Blanch said police received multiple calls from members of the Muslim community in Western Australia concerned about the individual both before and after the incident.

“I would like to thank the members of the Muslim community who did that because it allowed us to quickly identify who this person was and respond as quickly as we did,” Blanch said.

In a statement released on Sunday about the incident, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “We are a peace-loving nation and there is no place for violent extremism in Australia.”

The incident comes after a priest and bishop were stabbed in a Sydney church last month. Police have arrested a 16-year-old over the attack, which they describe as a terrorist act.