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Furious family demands cops release body-cam footage after man was shot dead amid claims he was armed with a knife and holding a woman hostage

  • Aubrey Donahue’s family said he was unarmed 
  • They have demanded body-cam footage release

The family of a man gunned down by police after a four-hour siege deny he was armed with a knife and are demanding body-cam footage be released.

Officers were called to a home in Mareeba, 65km west of Cairns, at around 11.30 on Saturday morning after receiving reports of a domestic violence incident and threats of self-harm.

Aubrey Donahue, 27, spoke with police negotiators who allege there was a woman also inside the Love Street home and that he refused to let her leave.

Tactical officers gained entry to the home at 3.30pm and claim they opened fire on Mr Donahue when he came at them with a knife.

But relative Victoria Van Schie is disputing those claims.

Aubrey Donahue spoke with police negotiators who allege there was a woman also inside the Love Street (pictured) home and that he refused to let her leave

Aubrey Donahue spoke with police negotiators who allege there was a woman also inside the Love Street (pictured) home and that he refused to let her leave

‘There was no DV (domestic violence) situation as has been reported to date… we want police to release the body cam footage to us, we will review it,’ she told The Courier Mail.

‘He had his whole life ahead of him and it’s been stolen.

‘He had no knife. He had his mobile phone in his hand.’

Tensions have flared between the community and police since the fatal shooting with squad cars pelted with objects and officers verbally abused on the street.

At a town meeting on Sunday, Mr Donahue’s mother, Desley, told the crowd of 100 people that police have kept her in the dark about what happened, the Cairns Post reported.

‘My son has got bullet holes in his body. I’m his mother, and they (police) aren’t telling me anything,’ she said.

‘I thank you all for coming. I don’t know what me and my kids would do without your support.’ 

Amid the furious anger in the area after the shooting, Detective Acting Superintendent Sonia Smith said the ‘police are working really hard on the ground at the moment in the community of Mareeba.

‘We’re using our police liaison officers to engage with the community, engage with the family and engage with anybody who’s affected by this.’

An investigation is being conducted by independent officers from the Ethical Standards Command who travelled to Cairns and Mareeba on Sunday.

The investigation is also being overviewed by officers from the Crime and Corruption Commission and they are conducting that investigation on behalf of the state coroner. 

Superintendent Smith said ‘It’s really important that an independent and thorough investigation is undertaken.

‘The crime scene is the responsibility of the officers from Ethical Standards Command and they will ensure that a thorough examination is made.’

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