Willetton incident: Commissioner Col Blanch says family of radicalised teen ‘want answers’

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Lauren Price
The Nightly
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James’ family want answers after he was fatally shot by police.
James’ family want answers after he was fatally shot by police. Credit: Supplied

The family of a radicalised teenage boy — who was fatally shot by police after stabbing a man and charging officers with a knife — say they understand the officers’ actions but they still “want answers”.

Police opened fire on the 16-year-old — who The Nightly is identifying as James — after stabbing a man outside Bunnings and then lunging at officers with a knife on May 4.

Police tasered James but when that failed to stop him, he was shot. He died a short time later.

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Almost two weeks after the incident, Police Commissioner Col Blanch on Wednesday said his family “want answers”.

“We have a family liaison officer as part of the homicide squad investigation. They have been in contact with the family,” he said.

“I think they understand the police actions but clearly they want answers, as they should.”

Police at the scene of a stabbing on Saturday night in Willetton.
Police tasered James but when that failed to stop him, he was shot. Credit: 7NEWS

In the minutes before the teenager died, he stated he was going to kill all the men in the location he was in during a triple-0 call he made.

Minutes later, police received another call — believed to be from a member of the public — that there was a male chasing people in the area of High Road in Willetton with a knife.

Several minutes later, three police officers arrived on the scene where they discovered a man had been stabbed by the armed teen.

Authorities later revealed the teen — who attended Rossmoyne Senior High School — had become radicalised through extremist content online, but have maintained he acted alone.

However, the incident has not been classified as a terrorist attack, with Mr Blanch deeming an official declaration was not required.

WA Police’s counter-terrorism squad and the lesser-known State Security Investigation Group are investigating the incident.

Officers from the homicide squad also quickly took carriage of the police investigation — as is the case with all fatal police shooting cases.

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