A coupled dressed up as the Joker and Harley Quinn from Batman were taken to the hospital after being shot by police at a Melbourne club on Saturday morning. The incident took place at an adult-themed dress-up party called Saints and Sinners at Inflation nightclub just after 3 AM, reports news.com.au.
Law enforcement officials arrived at the scene after receiving a report of a man with a gun in the club, according to a police statement. According to the statement, police were attempting to speak to the 35-year-old man when he a pulled out a handgun, and that he did not drop it when asked to. They then shot him in the torso, and the 37-year-old woman sustained a shot in the leg.
"Police called on the male, the male took the firearm from his pants and aimed it at police," said police superintendent Lisa Hardeman in an interview with reporters on Saturday. "When a gun is aimed at you … and you ask somebody to drop the gun and that doesn't happen, [you] need to make a split-second decision to protect yourself."
Inflation owner owner Martha Tsamis said in a Facebook post that the man dressed as the Joker was not holding anything in his hand when he was approached by the police, and was in a "compromising position" with his partner when the police arrived.
Tsamis also said that in accordance to the party's protocol, the venue's security team had verified that the gun was a plastic toy and had informed the police of this.
"Security verified that a plastic toy accessory was displayed to, and passed by security and this information was given to police on arrival," she said. "Security had no concerns prior to the incident, and advised police on attendance that they were more than happy to deal with any issues. But police rejected this advice, stormed in, fired three shots, and a tayser [sic], with the outcome being two people suffering from serious gunshot wounds."
Inflation management also made a statement on its official Facebook page, where they said the event "could of been avoided if the police cared to listen."
THUMP has reached out to the venue for comment but had not heard back by the time of publication.
Follow Alexander on Twitter.