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Police discharge of firearms in Morrinsville justified

6 November 2018

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that two officers were justified in discharging firearms at a man who fired a semi-automatic rifle at them in Morrinsville on 13 August 2017.

The Authority completed its investigation into this incident in July 2018, but delayed the release of its public report until after the conclusion of related court proceedings.

The incident took place shortly after midnight, when a man fired a semi-automatic rifle at a Police officer following a short pursuit. After that officer had retreated by driving up a nearby driveway, two more officers arrived at the scene and the man aimed his rifle at them.

The two officers exchanged fire with the man using their Glock pistols, before retreating on foot. No-one was injured during this encounter and, despite an extensive search throughout the night, the gunman was not located until 12 days later.

Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty, said: "It was reasonable for both officers to respond to the immediate and serious threat the man posed by firing their pistols at him. Less forceful tactical options (such as Police dog, Taser, pepper spray or baton) were neither appropriate nor available in the circumstances. Nor was it practical to ask the man to surrender before the shooting began."

The Authority also found that the officers complied with policy when arming themselves, and that Police managed the incident appropriately to ensure their response was coordinated and properly resourced.

Public Report

Discharge of firearms in Morrinsville (PDF 502 KB)



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