THE man shot dead by police in rural NSW on the weekend reportedly went on a violent rampage after being refused entry to a spiritual festival celebrating "peace, love and harmony".
Ryan Pringle, the son of rugby league player and Kirra resident Neil Pringle, allegedly punched, kicked and threatened at least 10 members of alternative lifestyle network Rainbow Family Australia with a knife and crossbow.
When police arrived at the Rocky River property near Tenterfield on Sunday, they were also allegedly threatened with the weapons.
Several shots were fired and Pringle died at the scene.
In a joint statement released late Monday on the network's website Rainbow Lickorish, witnesses expressed their gratitude to the officers who had come to their aid.
They said Pringle held the group hostage, produced a "large knife", hit three people and continued to threaten members with acts of violence.
The alarm was reportedly raised when a few members managed to escape and get to Tenterfield to alert police.
"He demanded of the police to place their weapons on the hood of their police vehicle," the statement read
"As he continued his approach the officers continually pleaded that he drop his crossbow and that they did not want him to get hurt.
"We tried to save him with CPR - we bought him back to live twice.
"His pulse faded minutes after the shooting, but we continued to try to revive him.
"We mourn his loss, even though we did not know him and he was not accustomed to our ways. His threats were signs of attention seeking but they were very real nonetheless."
According to the website "Rainbow Gatherings are temporary intentional communities, typically held in outdoor settings, and espousing and practising ideals of peace, love, harmony, freedom and community".
The festival is plugged as being drug and car-free and activities include drum playing, meditation, dancing, "visioning the future" and healing workshops.
Detectives from Sydney's Homicide Squad have been flown to the site to assist a Critical Incident Response Team with the investigation.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.