The father of the knife-wielding man shot during yesterday’s incident at Westfield Hornsby has criticised police and the healthcare system over the violent ordeal.

Jake Sourian, father of 23-year-old Jerry Sourian, says his son – who had been reported missing from a psychiatric centre on Wednesday – had his case “mishandled” by authorities.

Jerry had been admitted to the Ku-ring-gai Hospital’s psychiatric ward almost two months ago after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. 

An hour’s leave was okayed by the hospital and Sourian’s psychiatrist, but instead of returning to the ward, he went missing. 

Jake asserts that leave should never have been approved in the first place. 

In response to the incident, which saw three bystanders sustain accidental injuries from police gunfire, New South Wales Health have stated they’ll conduct an investigation. 

Elsewhere, NSW Police have defended the actions of the officers on the scene. Former police Assistant Commissioner Clive Small told the ABC “you’ve got a fellow wandering around, waving a knife. 

You may feel that a Taser is not appropriate in those circumstances or might take a bit long to react to it, or something like that.”

Earlier, Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford told reporters “it’s alarming, but I wonder what may have happened had the police not intervened and stopped this person with a knife.”

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge also weighed in on the incident, saying there should be a full, independent review of the police’s response. 

He said “in the absence of a fatality, all we will be getting is police investigating police,” before stating there is “woefully inadequate training for the police to deal with mental illness.”

Jerry Sourian remains under police guard in hospital.


Source: ABC / Sky News / The Guardian.
Photo: David Henry / Twitter.