The man who was shot dead by police officers in Western Sydney was once an aspiring rugby league player whose career was cut short by a devastating stroke.
in Key points:
- Daniel King was shot dead after shooting at a house and two police stations
- He played reserve grade rugby league for Penrith before an injury caused his stroke
- During rehabilitation he took up body building and went on to compete in tournaments
Daniel King, 32, was shot dead outside Penrith police station after he opened fire on a family home and two police stations on Wednesday night.
The rampage began when Mr King arrived at the home of his former partner, Stacey Taylor, with a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun and began firing.
Terrified and fearing for her life, Ms Taylor bundled her children into a bedroom and called the police.
King then fired several shots into St Marys police station before driving to Penrith police station, where he was shot dead during a shootout with police.
Ms Taylor, who is 27 weeks pregnant with King’s baby, said she told police about threats he made against her and their child, but no action was taken.
“The threats were saying that he actually hired a hit person to bash me and stab me in the stomach to make me lose my baby, so I wasn’t pregnant anymore,” she said.
New South Wales Attorney-General Mark Speakman said Ms Taylor’s claims would be investigated.
Friends of Mr King have since paid tribute to the gym-junkie on social media.
“You’re going to be sorely missed my bro,” one post read.
Another from an ex-girlfriend read: “I loved you dearly and I’m so sorry nothing else worked.”
“Please don’t let his last actions cloud the judgement of the person he was. Mental health affects us all in different ways,” another said.
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A profile published by Men of League, a charity established to support injured footballers, detailed Mr King’s painful journey to recovery after suffering a massive stroke several years ago.
While playing reserve grade rugby league for Penrith, the winger twisted his neck in an “innocuous” tackle that “didn’t feel quite right”.
According to the profile, the injury triggered a delayed stroke that left King unable to talk, walk or even eat without assistance from his mother.
“As a result of the stroke, Daniel ended up with no strength in the right side of his body and spent six weeks in rehabilitation,” it read.
It was during his rehabilitation that King was referred to a body building coach, later going on to compete in major tournaments.
Speaking to Men of League in 2015, Mr King said he was “so grateful” for the help of the charity in his journey to find body building.
“I’d like to stay in the industry, even if not competing, I’m thinking about possibly going into judging,” he said.