Source: New Zealand Police (District News)
Police acknowledge the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority report, which found two Police officers were justified in shooting at a man during an incident in Auckland.
Acting Superintendent Sunny Patel, Auckland City District Commander, says at around 10.45am on 15 July 2021, Police were notified of a vehicle stolen from a car yard in Penrose.
“The Police Eagle Helicopter located the vehicle and provided overhead observations and Police initially attempted to stop the vehicle, which fled at high speed.
“Police deployed spikes in an attempt to stop the vehicle, which crashed on a traffic island on Great South Road and Ellerslie-Panmure Highway.”
Police note the Authority found that, although the decision to use road spikes to stop the man was justified, the location exposed other drivers to danger and was in breach of Police policy. We acknowledge this finding.
Acting Superintendent Patel says as the man exited the crashed vehicle, he pointed a pistol at the officer. An attending officer immediately fired his Taser, but this was ineffective. The Authority found that the officer was justified in firing the Taser in self-defence and Police also acknowledge this finding.
“The male then hijacked two cars at the intersection in quick succession. While he was forcing his way into one of the vehicles, the driver of that vehicle fell out onto the road as the car was rolling backwards.
“The officer, who had earlier fired the Taser, attempted to shoot the man in the vehicle, but missed, and the male subsequently fled the area in the hijacked vehicle.
“Soon after, the man crashed the car at the intersection of Great South Road and South-Eastern Highway and attempted to hijack another occupied vehicle by holding a firearm to the driver’s head,” Acting Superintendent Patel says.
An officer stopped his car in front of this vehicle, got out, and fired one shot at the man through its windscreen.
A fragment of the bullet struck the man, who was apprehended, and first aid was immediately rendered at the scene before being transported to hospital.
Acting Superintendent Patel says Police note the Authority determined that the officer was justified in shooting at the man to defend himself and the driver of the hijacked vehicle, as Police believed the man posed an imminent threat to him and the driver.
“Police acknowledge these findings.
“This was a complex and rapidly evolving incident, from which Police have taken learnings.
‘This type of response is always the last resort for our staff,” Acting Superintendent Patel says.
The man has since been convicted of failing to stop, presenting a firearm at a person, reckless driving, aggravated injury, attempted unlawful taking, and unlawfully taking motor vehicles.
Anna Thompson/NZ Police