Victim a 'gentle man' loved by family, colleagues

Mr Curtis Cheng (far left), seen here with his family, was well-liked at the New South Wales police division where he worked.
Mr Curtis Cheng (far left), seen here with his family, was well-liked at the New South Wales police division where he worked.PHOTO: NSW POLICE FORCE FACEBOOK

SYDNEY • The man shot dead outside the New South Wales (NSW) police headquarters in Sydney was on his way home when he was attacked, his colleagues said.

Mr Curtis Cheng, 58, had worked as an accountant at the NSW police finance and business services division for 17 years, reported The Sydney Morning Herald. He was married with two adult children.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione yesterday described Cheng as someone who was well-liked by colleagues.

"He was a much-loved man, (he had) been with us a long time. I don't think I've ever heard anyone have a bad word about Curtis and he will be missed," he said. "He was a gentle man in every sense. What has occurred is shocking and it is a very sad time for those who worked closely with him and all our employees."

A police source quoted by Australian broadcaster ABC said the victim was a Buddhist and of Hong Kong-Chinese background. "You won't find anyone in the cops who has a bad word to say about him," the source said. "He just walked out the door, Friday afternoon, on his way going home to his wife and kids. Shot dead. It's just horrible."

NSW Premier Mike Baird paid tribute to Mr Cheng and gave his condolences to his family. "He sounds a wonderful man, very much loved by family and friends and indeed the police community, and we can't forget that the police community are deeply impacted by this," he said. "A colleague and friend - it is going to hurt, and hurt very deeply."

The 15-year-old boy of Iraqi-Kurdish background who carried out the attack on Friday continued to fire his handgun before he was shot dead by one of three special constables who responded to the shooting.

Mr Scipione praised the policemen for the way they handled the situation. "I don't think I've seen a greater act of bravery than what I saw last night," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 04, 2015, with the headline 'Victim a 'gentle man' loved by family, colleagues'. Print Edition | Subscribe