Sergeant David Templeton
TD4656 Sergeant David Templeton
The New Zealand Bravery Decoration
On 21 January 2003, following the violent mutilation of two women in the Thames area, the offender fled to South Auckland. Once there, he shot and killed James Te Aute, an innocent bystander who was outside a cinema and restaurant complex. The offender then left the scene in a vehicle. Senior Constable Templeton and his Police dog were on duty nearby and came across the offender fleeing the scene. He reported the car and the circumstances to the Police Communications Centre, advising he was pursuing the offender’s car.
When the offender realised he was being pursued, he fired a number of shots from a semi-automatic weapon directly at Senior Constable Templeton and his vehicle. Several rounds hit the vehicle. Initially, Senior Constable Templeton didn’t realise he was being shot at, but once he did, he withdrew to what he considered to be a safe distance, while still reporting the offender’s movements. Shortly afterward, the offender slowed down and focused the laser telescopic sights of his firearm at Senior Constable Templeton’s head and face and again fired shots at him. Fortunately none of the shots hit him. By this time, other Police were involved in the pursuit of the offender, who then fled a short distance before breaking into a nearby house and taking two adults hostage for a number of hours. He eventually surrendered to the Armed Offenders Squad and Hostage Negotiations Team.
An investigation into the incident determined Senior Constable Templeton was shot at on four separate occasions and one of the bullets had hit his vehicle on the sill below the driver’s door, very close to where he was sitting.
Senior Constable Templeton has displayed bravery on other occasions.