Family pays tribute to David Petersen, shot dead at Quakers Hill police station

David Petersen was shot inside Quakers Hill police station and died. Photo: Supplied Quakers Hill police station was locked down following the shooting. Photo: Ben Rushton


A Sydney father who was shot dead during a confrontation with police at Quakers Hill police station has been remembered by a relative as a man who loved his family and “put everyone before himself”.

David Petersen, from Quakers Hill, walked into the police station on Lalor Road just after 10.30am on Tuesday and allegedly threatened officers with a large kitchen knife and started yelling incomprehensibly.

A senior police officer shot Mr Petersen, a New Zealand-born father aged in his 40s, once in the shoulder, in front of other officers and a 12-year-old boy who was at the station.

A witness said CPR was performed on the injured man, but he died at the scene.

Mr Petersen lived on Highfield Road, less than a kilometre from the police station, and police searched his home in the hours after the shooting.

Detectives are still trying to determine what prompted him to enter the station allegedly with the large knife.

Mr Petersen’s nephew posted an online tribute to his uncle, saying he kept expecting Mr Petersen to phone him and tell him it was all a “sick joke”.

“You were my idol growing up the bloke I wanted to be like the one I always wanted to impress but as we got older you told me partying wasn’t everything and you were proud of the man I had become,” he wrote.

“In my darkest moments you were there for me you got me back on my feet.”

He said Mr Petersen was his “second father” and best friend.

“I will always remember you as the man who loved his family, put everyone before himself and whoever met him loved him not to mention the last man standing at all the parties lol I will carry you in my heart forever and know you will watch over all of us rest easy Uncle Dave you are finally at peace.”

Mr Petersen’s nephew also said he would “watch over the girls till my last breath”.

On Tuesday, NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford said a police sergeant with 24 years’ experience fired one shot at the man in the police station foyer.

“We have no idea of [his] motive for coming to the police station,” Assistant Commissioner Clifford said.

“I can say that there’s no indication that this is terrorist-related, but why the man came there, why the confrontation [occurred], at this stage we just don’t know.

“A large knife has been located at the scene, and obviously that will be part of the investigation.”

Quakers Hill police station remained closed on Wednesday.

Neighbours across the street in Pearce Road said police yelled at them to stay inside and lock their doors following the shooting.

“We didn’t come out again until about 3pm, it was scary,” said Raj, who didn’t give his surname.

Police said a critical incident team from the Homicide Squad would investigate the shooting and the circumstances leading up to it. That investigation will be overseen by the Professional Standards Command, police said.

– with Rachel Olding   */]]>