A Parramatta man who was shot in the foot by a police officer in inner-city Sydney yesterday was involved in a "very violent confrontation", which left the officer with a broken wrist and cuts to his legs, police say.
Two plain-clothed officers were driving through Redfern on Thursday morning when they recognised two men hopping out of a taxi near Walker Street
They stopped and tried to talk to the pair but one of the men, a 29-year-old from Parramatta named last night as Timothy "TJ" Powell, who was well-known to police, fled.
He was chased by one of the officers into the foyer of an eight-storey Housing NSW block, where the two engaged in a "very violent, close-contact confrontation", Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch said.
There was a suggestion that the man made a grab for the officer's gun as they fought each other on the ground of the entrance
A fire hose and a large amount of blood could be seen smeared on the ground.
Mr Murdoch said the 36-year-old constable had no radio contact, no capsicum spray and no Taser on him as he was in plain clothes. His only option was to reach for his gun.
It was "some time" before the other plain-clothes officer came to his colleague's aid, Mr Murdoch said.
The foyer of the building in Redfern where a police officer shot a man today. Photo: Rachel Olding
After viewing CCTV footage of the entire incident, Mr Murdoch said he was confident that the officer, a Redfern constable with three years experience, was "literally fighting for his safety".
"The two [police officers] were isolated for some time, hence the length of the confrontation," Mr Murdoch said. "He was isolated from support and had no radio contact."
He said the man who was shot did not have a knife on him but might have been armed with some kind of weapon.
It is not known if the man had outstanding warrants for his arrest but he was immediately recognised by the constable.
Reports that he was on a stolen push bike were incorrect, Mr Murdoch said.
He was taken to St Vincent's Hospital where he is undergoing surgery this afternoon and is in a stable condition.
Mr Murdoch said he had not been co-operative with police.
The constable is also in St Vincent's Hospital with his wife by his side. He suffered a broken wrist and cuts to his legs.
"He did extremely well to get out of it as well as he did," Mr Murdoch said.
Residents of Walker Street said there was an incident almost weekly in and around the large Housing NSW blocks.
One resident described it as "the Bronx of Sydney".
"Last week someone jumped off that building and died. Then, this week, this happens. What next?" another resident said.
On Boxing Day last year, the body of disability pensioner Rodney Scarman, 51, was found in a nearby Housing NSW building, also on Walker Street.
Autopsy results revealed he met a violent death, NSW Police said in a statement.
Mr Murdoch said the man shot by police was not from the area and appeared to run into the apartment block to escape police and seek refuge.
Police have launched a critical incident investigation. Critical incidents are those involving officers that result in the serious injury or death of a police officer or member of the public.
- with Glenda Kwek