Please attribute to Superintendent Naila Hassan, Waitematā District Commander:
Police acknowledge the findings by the Independent Police Conduct Authority relating to an incident where an officer fired shots at an offender who drove his vehicle at him while trying to evade arrest.
The Authority found that the officer was legally justified and acting in self-defence in deciding to fire at the offender during the incident which unfolded on January 31, 2019.
That afternoon about 3pm, Police were notified of a firearms incident were a man fired multiple shots during an altercation with a person at a property on Potter Ave, Northcote. He then fled the scene in a vehicle.
Fortunately, no-one was injured in the incident but the offender went on to drive on the motorway extremely recklessly, weaving in and out of traffic, driving on the wrong side of the road and narrowly missing other motorists.
Knowing that the offender was putting himself and members of the public’s safety at great risk, a responding Police unit used their vehicle to try to block the offender’s car and bring it to a stop at an intersection on Great South Road.
The officer got out of his car and pointed his glock towards the man, challenging him to surrender, but the man accelerated towards the officer from less than two metres away.
The officer was forced to move out of the way and fired three shots at the man in an attempt to stop him, fearing he would be run over.
The IPCA accepted the officer was justified in doing so in self defence and had no other tactical option available to protect himself or slow the vehicle.
The shots fired did not hit the offender and he was apprehended a short time later.
“This was an extremely volatile and dangerous situation where we had a person who was known to have used a firearm fleeing police, and he posed an extreme risk to the public on our roads.”
“This highlights the fast-moving, and often dangerous nature of Policing. Our staff go to work every day to keep the public safe, often putting themselves in harm's way to do so,” Superintendent Hassan says.
Police fully support the IPCA’s findings that he was justified in his actions.
The offender was charged in relation to the incident and in October 2019 was sentenced to two years’ and three months’ imprisonment.
The officer involved remains a highly valued member of New Zealand Police.
Adriana Weber/NZ Police