Feb 13, 2014

Dad shot after boy dies in knife attack

Dad shot after boy dies in knife attack. A father has died after he was shot by police who tried to stop him as he stabbed his 11-year-old son and then beat him to death with a cricket bat at a crowded suburban sports oval in Australia.

Horrified parents and children who were gathered at the ground for evening cricket training watched the 54-year-old man attack his son with a knife.

The boy, a talented cricket player who has been identified as Luke Batty, was believed to have arrived the training session with his mother, when his enraged father turned up at the scene.

The drama unfolded at around 6.30pm on Wednesday at Tyabb Cricket Ground, an outer suburb of Melbourne on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Tyabb is a quiet township with a country fire station, a railway station and three small primary schools including Flinders Christian Community College, where the boy was a sixth grade pupil.

Witnesses told the Herald Sun the father turned on them with the knife, forcing one of the officers to shoot him in the chest.

Local police from Mornington station arrived on the scene at 6.40pm, when four officers confronted the man and tried unsuccessfully to subdue him with capsicum spray.

According to the Mornington Peninsula News, the father was estranged from his son and the boy’s mother, who was ‘in the vicinity’ of the the attack.

As the news was broadcast, horrified Australians have begun posting tributes to the boy on social media.

Paramedics tried to save the boy, but he died at the scene from severe head injuries.

An emergency services helicopter took the father to the Alfred hospital, where the man died at around 1.30am on Thursday.

Victoria Police commander Doug Fryer confirmed the ‘male that the police shot was the ­father of the deceased boy’.

‘They’ve attempted to use less than lethal force, ‘ Commander Fryer said. ‘They’ve attempted to talk him down. That has been unsuccessful.

‘They have then discharged a firearm, hitting that male once in the chest.

‘We’ve had an absolute tragedy here tonight. It’s a horrific scene.’

Police later interviewed witnesses, including young children.

The incident has shocked the local community, with one resident describing how ‘a shiver’ ran down his spine when he heard ‘a couple of pops’ and realised they were gunshots.

Tyabb Cricket Club’s junior cricket co-ordinator, Ron Dyall, said the boy had played for the club for two or three years and was also an avid footballer.

Mr Dyall said he was devastated by what had happened.

‘My own son plays in [the boy's] team. I’m trying to figure out how to break it to him, and how we’re gonna deal with the kids.’

The Victorian Homicide Squad will conduct an investigation into the deaths.