Police acknowledge the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report that found it was reasonable for an officer to shoot an offender who ran towards him, apparently intending to harm him with a knife.
On Sunday 28 July 2019, the man had been involved in a fleeing driver incident after threatening two people with a knife, and stealing their car.
The car was brought to a stop using road spikes, at which point the offender left the vehicle and ran towards an officer with a knife.
When the man failed to stop advancing after repeated appeals, the officer fired a shot, which hit the man in the arm.
The IPCA found the officer was justified in arming himself and in firing a shot in self-defence as he genuinely believed the offender would seriously injure or kill him.
The authority also found the officer acted reasonably leaving the patrol car running, given his assessment that there was an immediate threat to his safety.
“Use of force by police officers is always a last resort,” says Inspector Freda Grace, Acting Tasman District Commander.
“This was a fast-moving and evolving situation, in which the officers involved made judgement calls that were supported by the IPCA.
“In this instance, the IPCA notes that communication had no effect on the man’s behaviour and the officer genuinely feared for his life, and fired a shot in self-defence.
“Our officers’ safety is paramount and we want all our officers to be safe while they are doing their jobs.”