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21 June 2017
The Independent Police Conduct Authority released a report today finding that members of the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) were justified in shooting Nicholas Marshall in Hamilton on 12 July 2016.
At about 6.30pm on Tuesday 12 July 2016, members of the Waikato AOS carried out a search warrant at a warehouse in Grasslands Place, Hamilton. Police had information that Mr Marshall was involved in manufacturing firearms and supplying methamphetamine and believed evidence of these crimes could be found at the warehouse.
Mr Marshall and his partner were living in the warehouse and were both there when Police attended.
Attending AOS officers parked a Police car with flashing lights at the entrance to the property and used a loud hailer to announce Police presence at the same time that officers rammed the front door, calling out “Police search warrant” as they did so.
As the first officers entered, they saw Mr Marshall come out of an office. An officer commanded Mr Marshall to get on the ground, however he ran to the rear of the warehouse. The officer followed Mr Marshall who picked up a pump action shotgun from a workbench.
Mr Marshall pointed the shotgun at the officer and squeezed the trigger; however the shotgun failed to fire. Mr Marshall then pointed the shotgun towards the ceiling and racked the chamber, causing a bullet to fall to the floor.
The officer yelled at Mr Marshall to drop his gun however Mr Marshall did not comply and attempted to load another round.
Believing that Mr Marshall was going to shoot him, the officer fired five shots at Mr Marshall.
At the same time another officer, who saw Mr Marshall holding the shotgun and believed that the officer would be shot, fired three shots at Mr Marshall.
Officers immediately provided Mr Marshall with first aid however he died at the scene.
“As soon as officers entered the warehouse, Mr Marshall confronted them. He presented a very real risk of death or serious bodily harm to Police and needed to be urgently stopped. The officers who shot at Mr Marshall were justified in doing so” said Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers. Other tactical options were not viable or appropriate.
A number of firearms, either operational or in parts, and machinery used for the manufacture of firearms were located during the subsequent search of the warehouse.
Fatal Police shooting of Nicholas Marshall in Hamilton (PDF, 530 kb)