Police begged: 'Put the knife down' before fatal shooting
AN EYE-witness has recounted how police officers begged a Grafton man to 'put the knife down' during a stand-off that led to a fatal shooting in Grafton.
A woman, who did not wish to be identified, said she was just coming home as the scene was unfolding about 4pm yesterday.
"As I was driving down the road... I saw a man running, like staggering down the road with a knife," she said.
"He was running at the police with the knife and they had their guns pointed on him, all the time persuading him to put the knife down, put the knife down mate."
She described the weapon as a "big butcher knife" and said there was a lot of yelling as the incident was pushed closer towards her house.
"I couldn't understand the guy with a knife it was just like hysterical yelling," she said.
"The neighbours were going to run around and see whats happening and I yelled out to them and told them to get back into the house because there's police with guns there.
"I was hiding because I didn't want to get shot."
The witness said it was clear to hear that at least one of the police officers seemed upset about the idea of having to shoot.
"I heard the policeman telling (the man) how he'd known him for 10 years and he really didn't want to do anything," he said.
"He was really upset, you could see it.
"But the guy was slashing out at them with the knife and that's when there was a couple of shots, boom boom, straight into the trunk of his body."
She said despite being shot, the man - who has since been identified as Grafton man Christopher McGrail - continued to try and lunge at police until the knife was kicked out of his hand.
"That's when he crumpled on the ground. The two policeman (started) CPR and checking his pulse.
"The neighbours say it's such a quiet neighbourhood and nothing like that happens here, but I think it can happen anywhere these days."