The brother of a Thai man gunned down by police after a tense stand-off at a Sydney train station had watched video of the incident online without realising it was his sibling.
Danukul Mokmool rushed into a florist at Central Station on Wednesday evening and attacked an elderly shop owner with a glass bottle in front of peak hour commuters.
Witnesses claim the Thai-born 30-year-old was armed with multiple pairs of scissors he had found in the shop when he charged at police, who shot him dead in a hail of bullets.
Speaking out the front of their family home in Heckenberg, in western Sydney, hours after Mokmool’s death, his half-brother said he believes he must have ‘wanted to die’.
A heartbroken Charlie Huynh said his sibling suffered mental health problems, while also revealing he had watched footage of the police shooting without realising it was his half-brother who had been shot.
Mr Huynh told the Sydney Morning Herald he did not know why Mokmool was in the city, but said his ‘lonely’ half-brother may have had ‘something on his mind’.
He also told how he had seen horrifying video of Mokmool charging at police before he was shot on social media, without realising who the person in the video was.
‘A friend of a friend of mine sent to our group a video and it was clear everything was perfect and I sort of saw an Asian character and I thought: “oh wow, the cops actually shot him”,’ he said.
‘Little did I know that it ended up being my brother after all. It was pretty devastating to hear it was my brother.’
Mr Huynh said he wondered if Mokmool, who previously spent time behind bars and more recently visited a mental health facility for daily treatment, had intended to die.
‘I guess he was trying to make a big scene. He told the cops to obviously shoot him. He just wanted to die I guess,’ he said, the ABC reports.
‘If he’s telling the cops to shoot him, I’m guessing so.’
Mokmool spent time packing in factories and working as a forklift driver, while over recent months was studying at TAFE in the hope of working with computers.
One of his former employers told Daily Mail Australia he worked briefly in Sydney’s west before falling off the company’s radar.
Gary Walker, the marketing director at Sydney-based Belmont Timber, said Mokmool spent two months driving forklifts for the company between March and May in 2014.
That was until one day, out of the blue, he failed to turn up for his shift and was never seen at work again.
‘He was forklift driver and one day he just didn’t turn up. He wasn’t put off, he just didn’t turn up,’ Mr Walker told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It’s sad that something like this happened… but nobody remembers anything about him.
‘It’s common with people these days that you have a forklift licences, you put them on (staff) and then unfortunately they leave.’
Mr Huynh said Mokmool’s shocked mother was flying to Australia from Thailand to be with her family.
While the horror of the incident has rocked the family, Mr Huynh said he understood why police shot his half-brother, with witnesses claiming he was armed with scissors.
Mokmool reportedly ran into a florist at Central Station with a broken bottle before he picked up a pair of scissors and threatened the elderly shop owner.
But just hours after finding himself at the centre of the attack, Emmanuel Theoharis was back at work in Central Station pulling up the roller shutters on his shop.
Recounting the terror that he witnessed in front of him, Mr Theoharis, 76, said he ‘felt sorry’ for Mokmool but also supported the decision police made to shoot him dead.
The elderly shop owner said the man rushed into the store and held the glass bottle to his throat, before stashing pairs of scissors he found lying on the front counter.
‘When I got out (of his grasp)… he had scissors everywhere. He put some scissors in his belt, he was holding some,’ Mr Theoharis said.
‘If they didn’t shoot him he would’ve attacked them with the scissors he was holding.’
But despite being left with a small cut on his throat, Mr Theoharis said he ‘felt sorry’ for his attacker.
‘I just feel sorry for him, he lose his life, the young man,’ he said.
Witnesses said he stormed into a florist and held scissors to the throat of an elderly shopkeeper, before telling officers: ‘Shoot me’.
‘A man came from nowhere. He tried to grab an old man, the florist owner, and he was pulling him and yelling at him,’ Nathan Yin told news.com.au.
‘I said, ”What the f*** do you want?” and he said, ”I just want to die”.
Horrifying footage of the seconds before the man was shot dead, show him running from the florist before being shot down in a volley of four gunshots.
The attacker then lay motionless on the ground as witnesses gasped in horror.
‘F***, f***,’ one distressed bystander is heard screaming.
Sami Aryal, who works nearby, told ABC News four or five officers surrounded the florist amid the chaos.
‘One of the policemen went inside the shop… and as soon as the man was about to run, I saw the policeman shooting him,’ she said.
‘He was shot and he was straight to the floor.’
Police said they had been initially called to scene just before 7.00pm, amid reports of an ongoing armed robbery. – mailonline