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25 July 2017
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer was justified in shooting Ford Hurinui in Motueka on 20 August 2015. Mr Hurinui survived the shooting but received injuries to his heart and liver.
The Authority completed its investigation into this incident in July 2016, but delayed the release of its public report until after the conclusion of related court proceedings in June 2017.
On the afternoon of 20 August 2015, an officer received a phone call advising that Mr Hurinui, who was wanted by Police, had been spotted driving around in a white Mitsubishi in Motueka. The officer was concerned about what lengths Mr Hurinui would go to avoid going back to prison, so he decided to arm himself with a Glock pistol, before heading out to locate Mr Hurinui.
The officer found Mr Hurinui and the Mitsubishi, and commenced a pursuit. When the Mitsubishi came to a stop in a dead end street, Mr Hurinui got out of the vehicle and pulled a shotgun out of the boot. He then turned to face the officer with the shotgun pointing down at the ground.
The officer broadcast across the Police radio that Mr Hurinui was armed with a shotgun. Local officers were immediately dispatched and the Nelson and Blenheim Armed Offenders Squad and Police Negotiation Team were deployed.
Over the next 24 minutes, the officer negotiated with Mr Hurinui to put the shotgun down. However, Mr Hurinui did not comply and he began to lift the shotgun.
Believing that Mr Hurinui was going to shoot him, the officer fired one shot at Mr Hurinui, incapacitating him.
The Authority determined that the shooting was justified, because the officer who fired the shot believed Mr Hurinui posed an immediate threat of grievous bodily harm or death.
“The officer attempted to avoid a lethal outcome by giving Mr Hurinui the opportunity to surrender. He negotiated with Mr Hurinui for 24 minutes and informed him numerous times that he was armed and that he should put the shotgun down”, said Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers.
“When Mr Hurinui raised the shotgun, the officer was lawfully justified in shooting Mr Hurinui,” said Sir David.