15-year-old shot dead by police in Athens; 15-year-old shot dead by police in Melbourne

Police Shooting – Northcote
Victoria Police, Media Release
Release date: Fri 12 December 2008

A 15-year-old Northcote male has died following a police shooting near Northcote Plaza last night.

Police received a number of calls alerting them to a male behaving erratically near Northcote Plaza on Separation Street.

Around 9:40pm two police divisional vans attended the area where they found a youth with two knifes in the car park area behind the plaza.

Two policemen from Northcote approached the youth, attempting to speak with him however he continued to act aggressively towards the members.

Police then deployed OC foam on two occasions which had no visible effect and the youth ran about 15 metres to the area around a skate park.

It is believed at this time the youth approached one of the members brandishing two knives.

Police have again attempted to calm the youth however he has continued to threaten them.

Early investigations indicate that three of the four members in attendance have then fired a number of shots at the male who has fallen to the ground.

He has died at the scene.

At this early stage, it is not known how many shots were discharged by police or the number of the times the youth was hit.

It appears the three members who discharged their firearms include two policemen from Northcote, a Leading Senior Constable and a Senior Constable, as well as a female Constable from Preston.

While it is believed the youth was shot in the upper body region, the extent of his injuries is under investigation.

Police are also following up a report that the youth had stolen the knives from a store at the Northcote Plaza earlier in the evening.

Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the shooting on behalf of the coroner while the Ethical Standards Department will oversee as per usual procedure.

Marika Fengler
Media Officer

Teen shot dead by police, Andrea Petrie, The Age, December 12, 2008 | Police shoot teenager dead in stand-off, ABC, December 12, 2008

Police quick out of the blocks to spin their latest shooting, Greg Barns (Crikey, December 12, 2008):

The reaction by Victoria Police to the shooting by their officers of a 15-year-old boy in a Melbourne park last night is an appallingly insensitive exercise in self protection and spin.

The Victoria Police media machine has hit the airwaves this morning seeking to justify a case where no less than three of their officers felt it necessary to use firearms on one young man, obviously drug affected or mentally ill or both, wielding two knives.

In among the expressions of sorrow and condolences by the Victoria Police to the family of the young man, are self justifying comments about the conduct of the officers. These comments are clearly designed to defend the name of Victoria Police, before the Coroner or any other investigation has had an opportunity to examine the evidence in the matter.

Assistant Commissioner Tim Cartwright told the media this morning, “We shouldn’t lose members of the community this way.” But then he added, “We train our police members, they’ve foamed him, they talked to him and they’ve done what they can. It’s a dreadful event.”

And Cartwright went on: “At some stage the young bloke has approached the police officers. They backed off and fired shots to no effect. He has continued to approach, at which stage three of the four members then fired at the young man, fatally wounding him. He’s fallen to the ground and died at the scene a very short time after.”

“If we step through the events and the investigation we’ve conducted today, the members did everything they could to talk him down … At the end of the day one of our member’s lives was at risk and the three members saw fit to defend that member. This is not a police failure. It’s a dreadful tragedy, it’s a failure of the community that we get a young man in these circumstances where the ultimate outcome is he violently approached police and he’s shot dead.”

How does Cartwright know that this is the truth of what happened to this young man? How can he pre-judge the critical issue of whether or not the officers involved feared reasonably for their safety? He doesn’t and he can’t — he wasn’t there and all he is doing is seeking to influence public opinion about the role of the police in this tragedy.

Cartwright has no business doing this — it is a matter for independent investigators and the courts, including the Coroner, to determine what happened last night in Northcote.

There are some significant questions that the police need to answer about this case. Firstly are the police trained well enough to deal calmly and compassionately with a person who is drug affected or mentally ill? Second, why is it that in a situation with four police officers against one young man the result is death to the young man?

These are issues that the Coroner and others will need to investigate and find answers to, and the boy’s family and the community have a right to ensure that the Victoria Police do not interfere in that process by continuing to use the media to spin the facts to suit their case.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2023 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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38 Responses to 15-year-old shot dead by police in Athens; 15-year-old shot dead by police in Melbourne

  1. Ana says:

    gosh they are quick to get their pig spin out, he was shot in the chest three times, @#$%$#@
    my heart and thoughts and love are with this young boys family

  2. @ndy says:

    Hariet Stewart, 29, who lives nearby, was walking home from the shops when she saw the teen running around carrying two knives.

    “I’m 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.”

    Ms Stewart said she thought it was “outrageous” that police could shoot dead a teenage boy.

    “I think it’s awful, especially with what has happened in Athens with the police killing people,” she said.

    The three police officers involved had twice used capsicum spray on the boy without success, and fired a warning shot into the ground.

    Speaking at the scene earlier, Mr Wendt said that he and the dead boy’s brother had gone looking for him.

    “He is a little bloke, just a kid,” Mr Wendt said. “I was with his brother searching for him. The kid’s been through a lot. His old man had died of cancer.”

    Mr Wendt said the teenager had his troubles but was a good person.

    “He was the gentlest kid ever,” he said. “He would just break down every now and again when he couldn’t handle it all.”

  3. THR says:

    I’m not holding my breath for a Greek-type response. Never mind the Vic Police track record of being trigger happy, never mind the fact that 7 shots were fired (according to reports), the spin seems to be one of ‘poor police’. The matter will be investigated by Ethical standards, but police appear to be particularly inept at investigating their own.

  4. @ndy says:

    Yeah… dunno. On the one hand, ‘poor police’; on the other, he was only 15. Three chances the reaction will be anything like it was in response to the shooting of Andreas — very different social context. On the third hand, who knows? Certainly, his shooting will be used (is being used) by police to push for tasers to become standard issue… which raises a whole host of other problems. As for what his (online) friends do… that too, will be interesting.

    Father Peter Norden from the Victorian Criminal Justice Coalition wants an independent investigation into the fatal shooting.

    The Coalition represents more than 50 legal, academic and community service organisations involved with the criminal justice system.

    Father Norden 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.

    “Community agencies working with disturbed young people deal with serious incidents of this kind every evening, without resorting to a violent response.”

  5. THR says:

    Norden is right – social workers and crisis assessment teams don’t speak to these kids armed to the teeth. The problems with Vic police run deeper than isolated incidents of shootings. Just today, the Age had a story about an officer ‘diluting’ the statements of sexual assault victims:


    Not to mention the many recent incidents of corruption, informants getting murdered, etc.

    In the short-term, I’m not sure what the answer is. There must be a lot of people out there with stories. Perhaps a samaritan-minded anti-police blogger could start collating and publishing them.

    OT, and you’ve probably seen it, but the newspapers this week have been featuring stories about Australian racists on Facebook. Also, in Moscow, a racist group has claimed responsiblity for the beheading of a Tajik man.

  6. caitlinate says:

    Where are the above quotes (Harriet Stewart / Mr Wendt) from?

  7. @ndy says:


    Police shoot teen dead in Northcote, Melbourne
    Gareth Trickey, Matthew Schulz
    Herald Sun
    December 12, 2008


    Family of teen shot by police call them ‘trigger happy’
    Gareth Trickey
    Herald Sun
    December 12, 2008

  8. @ndy says:

    “Norden is right – social workers and crisis assessment teams don’t speak to these kids armed to the teeth.”

    Yeah. Part of the problem is CATs are under-staffed, over-worked, and — in the north — got a pretty poor reputation. Plus, they won’t attend such situations unless there’s a police presence, so either way, police will be involved. However, it’s a little extraordinary that they (seemingly) weren’t called on this occasion, especially as he was only 15 (although initial reports describe him as a man in his 20s), and acting erratically.

    “Perhaps a samaritan-minded anti-police blogger could start collating and publishing them.”

    Funny you should mention that…

    “OT, and you’ve probably seen it, but the newspapers this week have been featuring stories about Australian racists on Facebook. Also, in Moscow, a racist group has claimed responsiblity for the beheading of a Tajik man.”

    Yeah, big thing in today’s Age by Asher Moses. Hadn’t read about the Russian thing tho’… although as they say in the classics, “If Russians are so interesting to you, move to Russia”. Alternatively: “No offence but honestly who gives a shit about some Tajik in Russia”.

  9. Angela says:

    As a mother of a 15 year old living in the area all I can say is “shame on you Vic Police”! This is a 15 year old boy, not one of many gun carrying drug dealers awaiting trials whom you seem to be very careful about “not shooting”. You should’ve given him the same respect.

    I read there were 3 officers involved and many shots later a 15 year old is dead. What the f…k are you people trained to do? Your guns should be taken away from you. You can’t help a 15 year old? God help the rest of us.

    It’s time for every parent to stand up and say THIS CAN’T HAPPEN AGAIN.

    Citizens in Athens have got it right. We should do the same.

  10. Anne says:

    It’s time for every parent to stand up and tell their kids to stay off drugs, don’t steal, especially weapons, and obey police orders. What would all you bleeding hearts be saying if the cops had backed off and let this kid go and two minutes later your kids came round the corner and he stuck them? What if the cops hadn’t fired and he killed one of them? Angela, why should the cops show him any respect when he clearly showed them none? Nothing proven, but it sure sounds like he was off his face on drugs – first offence; stealing weapons – second offence; defying Police – third offence; attacking Police – fourth offence. With all that, if he was running at you and threatening to kill you, armed with 2 knives, what would you do? Counsel him?

    What these officers are trained to do is protect the community. This boy was a threat to the community. If you believe Athens has got it right, go and live there. We appoint Police to keep us safe. I for one do not want to live in a lawless society.

  11. uni twat says:

    Anne, firstly, I never “appointed” the police to do anything, and neither did you. We don’t vote for cops, and you can go on about tacit consent or social contract or whatever you like, but I never asked for or gave consent for uniformed thugs to be patrolling our streets with guns, killing children (armed and violent or otherwise).

    I find it extremely hard to believe that a group of four fully-grown adult police officers were unable to subdue a 15-year-old child with some knives that he stole from Kmart without resorting to pumping his chest full of bullets. You say that the police are supposed to “protect the community” (which is itself a flawed assumption) – but you fail to note that this boy was in fact a member of “the community” himself, and now he’s dead. I also wonder whether the boy would have violently approached the cops at all, had they not been waving firearms in his direction.

    The Victoria Police is a corrupt and violent institution, with a fatal shooting rate which far exceeds all other Australian states and territories. This is nothing new.

    I refuse to accept, as Commissioner Tim Cartwright contends, that these cops “ultimately had no choice”. They outnumbered this child four to one. Cartwright is just in damage control, trying to maintain the fragile public image of the police without access to the facts.

    This misguided and disturbed child should have been given some help before he got to this point. The police clearly didn’t deal with this incident in an acceptable manner, which is nothing out of the ordinary in this state.

  12. @ndy says:

    There are differences and similarities. Both cases involve a 15-year-old being shot dead by police; in both cases, questions remain.

    Victoria Police are certainly corrupt, but I’m not aware of the officers involved being so (nor has anyone claimed otherwise, to the best of my knowledge). Further, the four officers involved appear to have been fairly young; or at least, that is what their junior status implies (constables and one senior constable). As such, I wonder if the outcome may not have been a little different had a more senior, and therefore experienced — and perhaps less ‘trigger-happy’ — officer been involved.

    Northcote cop shop is immediately adjacent to the shopping centre, and so too the spot where Tyler was shot dead (All Nations Park). In which case, upon receiving reports, police would presumably have been on the scene in a moment. The point Father Peter Norden makes I think is a legitimate one. That is, in cases where a person is behaving in a manner that suggests some form of mental imbalance, it would be appropriate to have available a specialist team to deal with it. The aim of policing, after all, is the containment of crime and state control of the population, not extra-judicial execution.

    Speaking of which, while it may be true that Tyler was drunk (or possibly high on some other drug/s), had committed a theft, disobeyed an order and/or threatened to assault an officer, these are not capital offences.

    Regarding the possible consequences of alternative responses, while the details of what occurred are not available, it does not appear to be the case that Tyler had actively threatened anyone with harm — or at least, not until he encountered the police. Exactly what happened following this encounter is unclear: media accounts are sketchy, and occasionally contradictory. In any case, if police were to have ‘backed off’, it would not have been in order to allow Tyler to simply ‘escape’. Rather, the aim would have been to allow police numbers to be reinforced, and to prevent him from leaving the area (and thus posing a possible threat to others).

  13. paul says:

    The little guy was clearly a creep, the cost of a bullet or 3 or 5 or whatever has probably saved the taxpayer a substantial amount going forward… white supremacy isn’t bullet proof it seems.

  14. Ana says:

    that’s really a horrible thing to say, yes I think fascists are fucked and I’ve spent my whole life fighting racism and for the rights of my peoples, but i would not wish the police to shoot or kill any 15 year old like that.

  15. paul says:

    well, if you take the total number of 15 year olds in Melbourne two days ago, there is only one less due to a police shooting, and it is clear he was a threat to society already..

    all the other 15 year olds, doing homework, playing cricket, looking after sick aunties, grandparents, or even getting into some good old fashioned mischief have managed to stay a long way away from being shot by police.

    It may be a while ago, but I’m pretty sure that at 15 my friends and I were quite certain attacking police with knives was not on the appropriate side of ‘the line in the sand’.

  16. Anne says:

    Uni Twat (sounds like you[‘]r[e] are just that!), I did appoint the police. By cho[o]sing to live in a democratic society, pay taxes, and vote, I am appointing the Govt to supply Police to protect me and my community. Police are not uniformed thugs, and it would be nice to see them given the respect from all generations that they deserve.

    You say “This misguided and disturbed child should have been given some help before he got to this point”. You are right here. By his parents. Parents are responsible for raising their children in a moral and law abiding way.

    Paul is quite right. I have read enough about this little skinhead thug to know that I far prefer that [he] is dead and the Police are alive.

    Thank God for the coppers – I don’t fancy living in a Mad Max society.

  17. Ana says:

    you cold hearted bastards I hope no teenager you’re related to ever gets shot and killed in cold blood by the police

  18. AD says:

    The police are murdering thugs, who hide behind their badges. You’re expecting me to believe that four grown, trained, armed adults, can’t subdue a skinny 15 year old kid without resorting to gunning him down? If that kid was my son or my friend, I would have burned the local police station to the ground (it’s actually about 30 metres from the Northcote skate park). The police are paid to keep us safe, not go around murdering our children.

    “People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.”

  19. Stephen J Gorsker says:

    I’m sick of the softly softly approach police are being made to conform to. When are people going to start taking respons[i]bility for their actions?

    This kid was threatening police (the people you all run to for help when things turn nasty in your own lives) with knives and they defended their own safety, dont be so stupid to think this was a premeditated murder carried out by a group of police…

    I think they have probably saved our community from this guy growing up causing untold heartache and trouble to in[n]ocent people, who knows, he may have even murdered someone YOU love.

    My 2 cents.

    PS thank god we live in a democracy where we can openly express our opinions.

  20. amed says:

    i cant bleave this has happend 4 police on to 1 15 year old. i know police try their best but not good enough. did they have to shoot him dead? wat r they traind for? they could of at least shot him in the leg instead of chest? police should carry plastic guns because they cant handle the real one. my heart goes to the 15 year old.

  21. Ali says:

    This sounds like a planned and deliberate shooting to promote tasers. Put the fear into the people so they beg for tasers rather than being shot. Tasers are not safe and they do not require the same inquiry when used. Look at how many deaths by police in the USA and Canada from tasers. It is much more than gun shootings by police.

    These police are very poorly trained and should not have been carrying guns if they can not contain a 15 year old. In saying this they should also definately not be carrying tasers.

    I feel so bad for this boy’s family and friends to have to go through this just because of a sick political agenda. As for racism, this is a confused and misguided 15 year old. Why are they not pursuing the leaders of these cults that are taking advantage of children.

    Often the parents are not to blame for angry, confused and depressed teenagers. It is the schools and government run society that teaches children undesirable behaviour.

    I have what people call a mixed race family (although I just see us as people with different shades of skin colour and eye colour). My teenager heard so many racist comments yet it was ignored. I don’t blame the children. The schools and government just don’t care. Why? Because the big powers behind the scenes want a police state and want a fear based society rather than an educated and informed one.

    Where was a highly trained counsellor or the call to his mother who could have most likely talked the child into realising he was loved and all could have been worked out?

    Time for communities to start putting together their own strategies to help their children and deal with situations to avoid phoning the police. Sad but if the police are not going to do their job and keep the children safe then who is going to call them and ask for them to bring their child home. This mother must feel so betrayed by these weak inhuman Nazi clones. She phoned them thinking they would do the right thing.

    Thank god not all police are like that. The ones I know are good-hearted souls really trying to make a difference.

    The police who did this to this boy should be on trial for cold-hearted murder.

  22. Bill says:

    It’s plain and simple the kid was executed by frightened little cops who have neither the mental stability nor training to warrant holding firearms.

    They simply soiled their pants through no doubt watching too many yank shoot ’em movies and when 1 let fire the others lost it. 7 shots to one skinny 15 yr old then to almost immediately claim he had links to white suprem[aci]sts is a bloody outrage.

    His mum bless her soul asked them to bring him home in the 1st place! and I’m damn sure she didn’t mean in a body bag.

    I call for all Australian police to be immediately disarmed.

    Until you incompetent children learn some skills and show some mental stability you don’t deserve to carry arms.

  23. Ana says:

    USA: Excessive and lethal force? Amnesty International’s concerns about deaths and ill-treatment involving police use of tasers


  24. neal says:

    If I started throwing rocks at the police and then ran at them several times with knives, I wouldn’t be expecting a warm welcome.
    It was suicide by cop. He should know that the police carry guns.
    Why isn’t England having riots over John Charles de Menez? That was wrong. You may view it [as being] worse than this because he was sitting on a train and he got shot 6 times in the head.
    I have very little sympathy for this child. Don’t get me wrong it is bad.

  25. @ndy says:


    v diff circumstances.


    de menez was a “terrorist”, shot dead (july 22, 2005) following terrorist bombings in london (july 21, 2005), and while police were in the process of hunting down a group of suspected terrorists planning another outrage on the underground. he was identified, on the basis of obviously flawed intel, as being one of them. it appears to have been an execution, one mandated by a ‘new’ shoot-to-kill policy. public reaction was mixed: was he, or was he not, a terrorist? if so, many were glad that he was killed. he wasn’t, but that was only established some time later.


    as for alexis, there were many witnesses to his killing, and they testified that he was guilty of no crime other than pissing off a cop, who then shot and killed him. he was executed in cold blood, in a part of athens (exarchia) with a large anarchist community, in which he was known and with which he had associated himself with for some time. further, this community was an active one, and exarchia has a long history of anti-state violence (riots and skirmishes). news of his murder spread extremely rapidly, and there was an extremely rapid response. the rage felt by the anarchists was also felt by many others, esp young people, and took place against a political background of widespread anti-cop sentiment (w recent historical and political origins; cf. ’67–’74 dictatorship). the cop who shot him was also a neo-nazi, and greek police are notorious for corruption and violence.

  26. Shocked Australian. says:


  27. GAGA says:


    I am so with ALI’s views on this matter. What are we living in? A sugar coated fascist regime. Its ok as long as we dont DARE break any rules. Just yesterday I heard that they were trying to ban topless sunbathing for f*^k sake!

    The death of this boy is both heartbreaking and disturbing. We are all human beings trying to live in this challenging modern age. I remember being 15 myself (a few years ago) and I was a bit nuts too and my life had been fairly “normal”.

    I keep asking the question “why could they not have just shot him in the leg?” Its crazy!

    Channel 9 and 10 and all the stupid current affairs programmes are not really addressing the issue are they? NO… because we are all controlled under the same machine that makes our rent high so we must buy property, hire purchase plasma TVs, get huge 4WDs on loan and generally get in so much debt that we are all sh*t scared to protest about anything.

    But maybe a change will come, 2009 brings a black president of the USA who (i think) seems alright. I dont envy his job though. Obama has said no to guns all through his campaign so maybe this will filter through to aussie…

    I hold my head in my hands and dont know what the solution is. I just hope that this may be a slight comfort to the boys family and… LETS NOT FORGET IT HAPPENED!

  28. @ndy says:

    There is no evidence that this was “a planned and deliberate shooting to promote tasers”.
    I live in Melbourne.
    Australia is not a fascist society.
    The proposal to ban topless sunbathing was made by Fred Nile in the NSW Parliament, with the support of Tory powerbroker David Clarke: it’s unlikely to get very far.
    Yes, we are all human beings. (Except for the lizards.)
    I dunno what 9 and 10 are doing — I rarely watch them. If I do, it’s not for news and current affairs.
    I dunno what machine in the sky controls us all, but If you told me where I might find it, I’d be happy to pull the switch.
    I own no property, a plasma TV, a 4WD, big or small, or even a car. I am in debt, but I’m happy to protest. As far as I’m aware, it has had little effect on my credit rating.
    Obama will change little, if anything.

  29. Michael Elwood says:

    FUCK the police, they think that they run this town by shooting a 15 year old boy and beating on criminals. Who the fuck left these cunts in charge. We live in Australia not Iraq, we should feel safe from the police not fear them. If you HAD to shoot this young boy, you shoot him in the leg so he can’t harm anyone and so that he could stay alive or taser him you don’t shoot him 7 times in the chest that’s fucked.

  30. Lana Ibrichevich says:

    To Mr Stephen J. Gorsker. I am very happy that you are living in democratic environment (LOL). How lucky are you?! It is easy to be ignorant and live in illusions. I am supporting all of you who took the side of unfortunate little Tyler. We all were 15yo once. Teens think that they are invincible and are very stubborn. So he was just an agitated teen at that moment and he paid a very expensive price for that. I didn’t say that I condemn all the police officers, but it should be reinforced, not use tasers instead of guns – because it is not much better – just educate them to negotiate better. For Tyler is too late unfortunately. I hope that he is in another dimension looking [down?] upon us, and that he is happily reunited with his dad. At least, that is what I want to believe and I wish for.

  31. Stephen J Gorsker says:

    To Lana Ibrichevich (LOL)…

    I’m also happy for you to believe he is in another dimension? (LOL)

    All the conspiracy talk from you bunch of pseudo anarchists is fucked up, the police are empowered to protect society from dangerous people and situations. If you feel they should not carry guns I would love to see you in the situation where you called upon their help, only to see them turn up and be powerless to protect your family because they were hopelessly outgunned…

    Picture this, a fucked up little ice head with a gun invades your house while you’re sleeping, you wake up and approach him only to find yourself at the wrong end of a loaded gun, your partner calls the cops and they arrive but can’t get close enough to tazer him…

    WHAT NOW???

    Do you want the cops to council him while you look down the barrel of his gun??? I don’t think so.

    You want that fucker shot clean in the head and NOW…

    But they can’t because you fools have disarmed the police through your protests.

    God help us if they ever take guns off cops.

    (And for what it’s is worth, I have never felt threatened by police because I obey the laws of society.)


  32. jack says:

    i say good bye to low life scum there should be more of it all you do gooders want to walk a mile in the shoes of the police and see wut its like there is no excuse for tylers behaviour he got wut he deserved if anyone commits the crime then they should do the time at least now it will save the taxpayers alot of money good bye to bad rubbish

  33. . says:

    (And for what it’s is worth, I have never felt threatened by police because I obey the laws of society.)

    cause ur a b*tch c*nt

  34. STAVE ONEZ. says:

    Stephen J Gorsker.
    shut da FUCK UP KUNT b4 u get stabbed ya heard.

  35. Myles says:

    As far as i’m concerned, you threaten the Police like this, you deserve to go down in pain.
    My hat’s are off to our Police. They’re protecting our community.
    My regards to the family, he was obviously troubled but still, to run around with knives.
    Doesn’t matter if he’s “only 15” he has two knives, Simple!

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