Two people have been shot by police during a bizarre altercation at a nightclub costume party in Melbourne’s CBD.
Officers were called to a ‘Saints and Sinners’ erotic dress-up ball at King Street’s Inflation nightclub at around 3am and opened fire on a 35-year-old man after he allegedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at them.
The man, who was reportedly dressed as The Joker, copped a bullet wound to the torso and has been taken to hospital with serious injuries, while a nearby female punter — who was reportedly dressed as fellow Batman villain Harley Quinn — was also shot in the leg and suffered non life-threatening injuries.
Bar staff have told News Corp that the “gun” he pulled was just a prop and not a real handgun.
“Two innocent people were shot, he had a toy gun which he declared to security,” a staff member told the publication.
While another person who claims to work at the venue has reportedly taken to Facebook, adding: “The event was a fancy dress party and the person who was shot, declared that the gun he had on his person was fake and part of his costume.
“It was made from plastic. This man and an innocent bystander were shot over a plastic gun at an adult fancy dress party.”
Superintendent Lisa Hardeman has told the ABC that venue security had reason to believe the gun was a fake and had passed that info on to police.
“But when the firearm was levelled at police, and police asked the man to drop it and he didn’t, police at that stage were not aware whether it was an imitation or a firearm,” she clarified.
“The woman was in close proximity to the male and police as they opened fire, she was also injured.”
The Superintendent added that they’re still investigating whether or not the gun was a toy, and how many shots were fired by police.
“If you look at all the circumstances when a gun us aimed at you, and you ask somebody to drop the gun and that does not occur, you need to make a split-second decision to protect yourself,” she said.
“Police don’t come to work to shoot people, they come to work to do their job.”
There were only about ten people on the first floor of the nightclub at the time when the shooting took place.
Police were called to the venue amid “multiple reports” that a man was carrying a handgun.
A witness has further alleged to The Age that the Joker & Harley Quinn masqueraders were engaged in a “sexual act” in front of other party-goers when police stormed the scene.
Anyone who may have any more information is advised to get in touch with Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.