The Independent Police Conduct Authority released a report today finding that two Police officers were justified in shooting a man following a domestic incident in Kerepehi, Waikato, on 21 October 2014. The man survived the shooting but suffered several serious injuries as a result.
The Authority completed its investigation into this incident in October 2015, but delayed the release of its public report until after the conclusion of related court proceedings in March 2017.
At 9.49pm on 21 October 2014, the man’s partner called Police and told them that the man had held a sawn-off shotgun to her head and threatened to shoot her.
Local officers were immediately dispatched to Kerepehi and the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) and Police Negotiation Team (PNT) were deployed.
Over the next hour, Police maintained contact with the partner who told them that the man had a bulletproof vest and would shoot Police if he saw them.
Police also determined that the man had a history of assaulting Police, drug use, carrying a knife, and unlawfully carrying firearms.
At about 10.43pm the partner advised Police that she and the man were about to drive to Ngatea and that the man was carrying a shotgun and a rifle. As AOS and PNT had not yet arrived, some local officers headed in that direction with the intention of stopping the man before he reached Ngatea.
On the way to Ngatea, the man drove over road spikes that had been deployed on Kerepehi Town Road. Shortly after, two armed officers in a Police car signalled him to stop.
The man pulled over and the Police car stopped a short distance away. The two armed officers got out and commanded the man to put his hands in the air, but the man stepped out of his car and pointed a rifle towards the officers. Fearing that they were going to be shot at, the two officers fired a total of seven shots at the man, incapacitating him.
“The two officers who fired shots at the man were justified in doing so because he posed a very real threat of death or serious bodily harm to them and other nearby officers”, said Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers. When the man pointed his rifle at the officers, other tactical options were not viable or appropriate.
“Police responded appropriately to this incident as it developed and provided all reasonable assistance to the man after he was shot.” said Sir David.
Non-fatal shooting of Mr X in Kerepehi (PDF 516 KB)