Townsville Hospital says it will conduct a review into the treatment of an Australian Army veteran who was shot dead by police one day after being discharged from hospital.
- Army veteran Steven Angus was shot dead by police in Townsville on Friday
- Police were attending reports that a man was threatening self-harm
- The QPS wants to know why Mr Angus was discharged from hospital the day before the shooting
Steven Angus, 52, was shot by police on Friday after allegedly “charging” at officers with knives when they attended an address in Kirwan following reports of a man threatening to self-harm.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers told the ABC police had been called to the same address for the same reason the day before.
Mr Leavers said on that occasion negotiators had assisted paramedics who took Mr Angus to hospital, but he was released shortly after his admission the same day.
Mr Leavers had urged Queensland Health to conduct an immediate investigation into the circumstances around Mr Angus’ release from hospital.
“A man went to a hospital for treatment and was released, no information was shared with police, we believed he was safe, receiving treatment,” Mr Leavers said.
“And we are called to an incident the next day where our lives are threatened, and police had to take action. This is unacceptable.
“We need better cross-sharing of information because when it comes to a private institution, a health care facility, no information whatsoever is shared and that hampers police in doing their job.”
On Sunday, Townsville Hospital and Health Service chief executive Kieran Keyes said the hospital would conduct a “comprehensive clinical review … to determine what learnings or actions may result from this tragic incident.”
“I would like to again extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends who have lost their loved one in this tragic incident,” Mr Keyes said.
Mr Keyes said he could not supply further details due to patient confidentiality.
Mr Leavers said it was unacceptable for Queensland Health not to release information about the incident because of privacy reasons.
“I get a bit tired of the Health Department hiding behind bureaucracy and not sharing any information,” he said.
“There is an internal investigation taking place at this point in time on behalf of the coroner, but the only people who are directed to answer questions and who participate in that very important investigation are police officers; the health officials and everyone else, do not answer questions and do not participate in that.
“Well, I’ve got some news for them when it comes to the coronial inquiry. They will be called before the coroner and they’re going to have to answer these questions.”
Queensland RSL state vice president Bill Witburn said he was unaware of Mr Angus’ involvement with RSL in Townsville but offered his condolences to the veteran’s family.
“There are places to get support and we want veterans to know to reach out and not go it alone,” he said.
“Any loss of life is tragic but this close to Anzac Day it’s important people know there are support services to go to.”