Specialist police put themselves in the path of Melbourne's killer Bourke Street driver but then moved to avoid a collision in the lead up to his deadly rampage.
That's the evidence of Sergeant Matthew Peck from the critical incident response team who was on the road with his junior partner on the morning of January 20, 2017.
They were pursuing James Gargasoulas, who was on the run after stabbing his brother, and went on to cause mass devastation during a busy lunch rush in central Melbourne.
An inquest into the tragedy was told on Monday that the officers were diagonally across the South Melbourne street from the offender, hoping that by blocking him in he could be arrested.
But Sgt Peck said it became clear their vehicles would collide when Gargasoulas was not willing to stop.
"We were blocking his path at that time," he said.
"The person of interest was waving at us to move out of the way, before we got past.
"He was moving at a quick enough pace, if we hadn't have moved, he'd run into us."
Sgt Peck said he was concerned for the safety of his partner and himself, as well as a woman passenger with Gargasoulas.
He said he left it up to his junior partner, who was driving, to decide to reverse out of the way.
"We would've had the person of interest collide with us," he said.
Sgt Peck conceded, under questioning from the lawyer representing families of the six people killed, it was a missed chance to apprehend the offender.
That morning, several police units had tailed Gargasoulas and pursuits were initiated, then cancelled, due to safety concerns.
At the same time, a detective was talking to Gargasoulas by phone to encourage him to surrender.
About 1.30pm, as Gargasoulas began driving dangerously in the CBD and putting lives at risk, Sgt Peck tells police radio: "Mate, none of the units have got any resolution strategy about this bloke. In my opinion, just slow going."
Minutes later, the situation escalated as Gargasoulas drove into city footpaths, causing pedestrians to dive out of the way.
Six people were killed and 27 others were injured.
The inquest continues on Tuesday.
Australian Associated Press