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Graham Ashton: Bourke Street officers did the right thing

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Graham Ashton: Bourke Street officers did the right thing


  • Police chief praises officers who confronted Shire Ali
  • Says officers are in “good shape”
  • Comments on the actions of “Trolley Man”

The officers who confronted the Bourke Street terrorist are shaken but coping well in the aftermath of the fatal CBD attack, police chief Graham Ashton has told Neil Mitchell.

Both of the officers were from the transit team, and the officer who shot Hassan Khalif Shire Ali was a young officer who had only recently graduated from the academy.

Mr Ashton told Neil Mitchell of his conversations with the pair, in which he praised their actions.

“I think they absolutely acted properly,” he said.

“They turn up within a minute of something happening, they don’t really know what they’re dealing with, nor the individual they’re dealing with or what he’s trying to do.

“They’ve initially tried to asses, they’ve tried to look for other options. There weren’t there (so) for fear of life and serious injury, they’ve acted properly as far as I’m concerned.

“I spoke to them on the weekend and they were in pretty good shape — pretty shaken up from the offence, but they were both OK.

“I just reassured them that they had my support and in my view they acted very bravely on the day and certainly in line with their training.”

But Mr Ashton was not as enthusiastic about the actions of ‘Trolley Man’.

Michael Rogers, or ‘Trolley Man’ as he has been widely dubbed, involved himself in the altercation, using a trolley in a bid to subdue the attacker.

“I don’t like to criticise people in that situation, he’s acting instinctively about what he’s looking at in front of him,” Mr Ashton said.

“But if a trolley had hit a police member and knocked him over and then this offender got on top of him, we could have had a tragic consequence.

“I think he was trying to support the police in his own way, so I haven’t been jumping on him over the weekend.”

Click PLAY for the full interview

“Good riddance”: Fired-up Sly on Melbourne’s response to Bourke Street terror

Neil Mitchell