Knife-waving man shot by cops after attack

Cheryl Goodenough |

A man who suffered a brain injury during a fight with his brother as a child was shot dead by police after threatening to kill his partner and burn down her house.

An inquest found Daniel Patrick Lewis died on August 31, 2018 after being shot by officers responding to an emergency call from his partner’s 19-year-old son who said the 36-year-old had gone “ape”.

Lewis was inside his partner’s Rockhampton home when police arrived, while she and her children were outside.

The pair had met about 14 weeks prior and Lewis hadn’t been violent towards her until the night of his death, coroner Terry Ryan found after an inquest held last year.

That evening they argued after Lewis drank bourbon and possibly home brew.

He threatened to kill her and her children and burn her house down.

“She tried to calm him down, but saw ‘pure rage’ on his face and felt scared,” Mr Ryan said in his findings published on Tuesday.

Lewis grabbed his partner by the throat, pushing her against the wall.

Her son intervened, thinking his mother had been hit, fighting with Lewis who grabbed a kitchen knife.

The teenager, his mother and a younger sister fled the house before calling police.

Officers yelled for about five minutes from the front and back of the house for Lewis to come out before he shouted about a “shotgun loaded” before coming out a side door armed with three knives.

Lewis walked towards police, throwing a knife after an attempt to taser him.

He was five to six metres away from an officer and poised to throw another knife when he was shot about six minutes after police arrived at the house.

Lewis died from gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen.

Mr Ryan said Lewis had cranial surgery and a massive bleed to his brain after injuring his head during a fight with his brother at the age of 11.

Lewis’ mother told the inquest his behaviour changed after the injury.

“He became violent towards his mother and at one point poured boiling water over his younger brother,” Mr Ryan said.

Lewis served time in jail for offences committed in New Zealand and Victoria before moving to central Queensland in 2015.

He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression/anxiety, while also struggling with drug addiction and bingeing on alcohol.

Toxicology testing found he had a blood-alcohol reading of 0.153 per cent at the time of his death as well as evidence of various drugs.

Mr Ryan said in his findings there were no useful recommendations he could make that would prevent deaths from happening in similar circumstances in the future.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 13 11 14