Police shooting of Whanganui man found to be justified

Police shooting of Whanganui man found to be justified


Police acknowledge the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) investigation released today in regard to the death of Whanganui man Savey Suos.

The IPCA investigation, the criminal and internal Police investigations have all found that the officers involved were justified in their actions.  The outcome of these investigations support the Police decision that no criminal charges be laid against any officers involved in this dramatic and very tragic situation.

Mr Suos was shot on 6 January 2017 after Police were called to an address on Mitchell Street, Whanganui in relation to a family harm incident. On attending the scene Police were confronted by Mr Suos, who was armed with a sawn off shotgun.

The attending officers retreated and the Armed Offenders Squad were deployed. Despite calls from AOS staff to surrender Mr Suos has advanced on officers and presented a loaded sawn off shotgun. As a result of these actions Mr Sous was shot and despite receiving immediate medical attention, Mr Suos subsequently died.  

“The actions of the officer were in direct response to the life threatening behaviour of Mr Suos. Given the danger of the situation, shooting Mr Suos was necessary to ensure the safety of our staff and the community,” said Superintendent Sue Schwalger, District Commander: Central District.

Our officers can and do face challenging, high pressure situations every day and must make split second decisions to ensure their safety and the safety of the public.

“No officer goes to work expecting to be involved in a fatal shooting, this is an outcome no-one wants. This incident was traumatic and distressing for all those involved and support is ongoing for our officers and continuing to be offered to the family of Mr Suos,” said Superintendent Schwalger.

The IPCA report did note a lack of communications between the Central Communications Shift Commander and the AOS commander. While this issue did not have an impact on the outcome of the incident Police have taken learnings from this and made system improvements.


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