A suburban mother who witnessed the police shooting of Sydney handyman Rodney Elkass outside a busy shopping centre said he appeared "out of control" as if he "didn't care what he had to do to get out".
Claire Bayly was pushing her five-month-old daughter along Castle Street, Castle Hill on September 29 last year when Mr Elkass, 37, was shot in the front seat of his ute after a brief confrontation with plain clothes police.
Giving evidence during the inquest into Mr Elkass's death at NSW Coroners Court on Wednesday, Ms Bayly described seeing three men in suits, whom she thought were security guards, running towards his Toyota Hilux.
"I actually saw a gun get pulled put from one of [the men]," she said.
"[He] yelled 'stop!' and then something else I couldn't hear. The next moment the person in the ute leant over and then the gun comes out of the [ute] window."
As she ducked down and began running with her pram towards the entrance to the shopping centre the young woman said she heard "at least three shots".
"I heard a shot as soon as I saw that gun coming out the window...I saw the driver fall...I saw the driver fall."
Ms Bayly told the inquest that Elkass had been pointing his gun directly at one of the suited men.
"It looked like he was doing it to get to them before they got to him," she said.
"[He looked] out of control. He didn't seem to care that they were police. It was like he was ready for it and he didn't care what he had to do to get put of the situation."
But the inquest then heard from another eye witness to the shooting, Sonal Kumar, who said that, rather than brandishing a gun, she had seen Mr Elkass put his hands in the air.
"He had a surprised expression on his face" Ms Kumar said.
"He lifted up his hands...then I ducked down. That's when I heard the shots."