Two brothers of interest to counter-terrorism police have been shot and seriously wounded by officers near the Victoria-New South Wales border.
Counter-terrorism officers were in north-eastern Victoria on Wednesday gathering intelligence when they sought assistance from local police to locate the two men.
Officers tried to pull over the brothers, aged 19 and 30, near a camping ground at Barnawartha North about 3pm on Wednesday. The pair allegedly rammed the police car then lunged at the officers with a knife and a tomahawk.
Both men were shot by police and taken to Albury hospital with serious injuries. The 30-year-old was later flown to Melbourne.
Police said the encounter was not being treated as a terrorism-related attack and there was no ongoing threat to the community.
A Victoria police acting assistant commissioner, Clive Rust, said officers had begun pursuing the brothers at the request of counter-terrorism detectives in the area. Police said the pair had recently relocated to Victoria from NSW, and the counter-terrorism detectives wanted to speak with them as part of “standard procedure”.
“They were attempting to speak to them to assess whether or not they are any risk to community safety,” Rust said. “This is just a standard procedure for CT [counter-terrorism] investigators.
“There was no ongoing CT investigation and there is no threat to the community.”
Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, thanked police for “their bravery” in a tweet on Wednesday night.
Homicide detectives will investigate the shooting, with oversight from professional standards command, as is standard protocol in police shootings.