The man shot dead by police during a frenzied stabbing attack has been identified as Gabriel Messo.
Confronting footage emerged of the moment police shot dead Messo as he stabbed his doting mum Lilla in a Melbourne park just across the road from where he lived.
Officers rushed to John Coutts Reserve in Gladstone Park, in the city’s north-west, at about 3.30pm on Thursday following multiple frantic Triple-0 calls.
Gabriel Messo was gunned down by police as he attempted to stab his mum to death
Neighbours have described his mum Lilla as a doting mother who washed, cooked and cleaned for her violent son
Gabriel Messo savagely stabbed his mum in a Gladstone Park reserve just across the road from where he lived
Messo had only moved into the Gladstone Park home across the road from the reserve about three weeks ago.
His housemate, Sylvester, said he lived in fear of Messo and said it was only a matter of time before he killed someone.
The terrified housemate described Mrs Messo as a kindly woman who had doted over her son.
‘He’s not really 100 per cent (mentally). But that poor mother was always coming here, giving food, washing the clothes – still all the washing clothes are outside and inside for him,’ he said.
‘I knew there was something wrong with him, but he’s got angry with the mother.’
The 63-year old said Messo was always angry in the brief time that he knew him.
‘He was always in an angry mood, even if I asked him if he’d like a cup of coffee,’ he said.
Police arrived to find Mrs Messo being brutally assaulted by a knife-wielding man in what they described as a ‘frenzied attack’.
Her son refused to comply with police orders to stop assaulting the woman and officers opened fire within 30 seconds of arriving.
Disturbing footage shows the man pinning his mum to the ground and repeatedly stabbing her as officers arrive at the scene.
Two officers surround the attacker and draw their guns before two gunshots are heard.
The man gets to his feet, before another shot is fired and he falls backwards to the ground.
A man has been shot dead by police in Gladstone Park on Thursday afternoon. Pictured are police vehicles at the scene in a quiet suburban street
The shooting unfolded in front of a local resident on his afternoon walk in the park.
Messo, aged in his 30s, died at the scene.
His mum was rushed to Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition suffering from facial stab wounds so horrific she is yet been identified by police.
‘It was not a random attack,’ Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said last night.
‘They may be family members, but that is subject to investigation.’
Assistant Commissioner Cornelius said the man was known to them but didn’t have a criminal record.
‘We’ve had recent contact with him, but there was nothing in that recent contact with him that indicated to us that the events of today might have occurred,’ he said.
Officers called to the scene were not physically injured but have been left ‘terribly shaken’ by the incident.
Katrina Drive in Gladstone Park remain cordoned off on Thursday night as police investigate
‘No member goes to work expecting to have to take the life of another person and that is a very difficult and, thankfully, a decision that does not happen too often,’ Assistant Commissioner Cornelius said.
‘But when a police officer does make that decision, of course it has a terrible impact on that member and also, of course, generates significant concern for the wider community.’
Assistant Commissioner Cornelius has backed the officers’ actions to open fire.
‘I understand that those members have acted appropriately. They’ve been decisive, they’ve taken action and they have acted in a way to keep the community safe and stop what was a frenzied attack from continuing,’ he said.
‘And my heart really goes out to those members. These were junior members, early in their career, and they found themselves having to make one of the worst-possible decisions that any member has to make in their career.’
Paramedics treated a man in his 30s and an older woman at the scene in John Coutts Reserve. The man couldn’t be revived
Police remain at the scene where officers were forced to open fire at a man who stabbed a woman in John Coutts Reserve in Melbourne’s north-west
Aerial footage captured by Nine News shows two people being treated at the scene by paramedics.
Dozens of police and paramedics remain at the scene in a quiet suburban street on Thursday night.
Messo’s body remained lying on the grass in the reserve, metres away from houses.
John Coutts Reserve is a popular park with an off-leash area for dogs.
‘I’ve never seen anything like it, it looked like a war zone,’ witness Blake told the Herald Sun.
‘It was so loud. There were that many sirens.’
Homicide Squad detectives are investigate the incident which resulted in the death of a man
Tina Gatt added: ‘It is usually pretty quiet here. When I saw the police, I thought ‘I hope it is not drugs or bikies’, but this is terrible. It is out of the blue for this to happen.’
Other residents told the ABC they heard arguing and yelling from the park before they heard four gunshots.
‘I heard the shooting. My husband, my son, ran to the fence. They were shooting on the fence. Usually I always hear noises. Then we realised someone shooting for real,’ one woman told the ABC.
Another man added: ‘I feel sorry for the police officer that had to do it.’
Dozens of police and paramedics remained at the scene late Thursday afternoon
Officers remain in Katrina Drive to examine the crime scene and speak to local residents
Homicide Squad detectives will investigate the incident, which will be overseen by the Professional Standards Command.
Witnesses are urged to come forward.
‘We understand there were numerous witnesses to this incident and we are very keen, of course, to identify and speak to any witnesses to what occurred this afternoon,’ Assistant Commissioner Cornelius said.
‘There is a tragic event and, as I say, we’re very keen to have that support from the community in relation to allowing us to thoroughly investigate what is a horrendous crime.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Residents said they heard arguing coming from the park (pictured) before hearing gunshots
Officers called to the scene weren’t physically injured but have been shaken by the incident