Rare for police to be shot in NZ

4:55 pm on 10 March 2016

Shootings of police officers have been rare in New Zealand.

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Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Last year, a Hamilton officer was shot when trying to arrest an offender in a Hamilton car park.

The last fatal shooting was in 2009 when Constable Len Snee was shot by Jan Molenaar in Napier. Molenaar also shot and wounded two officers.

In total 11 police officers have been shot dead since Sergeant William Hughes was killed during a domestic dispute in Otaki in 1951.

2009 - The most recent fatal shooting of a police officer was in 2009 when Constable Len Snee was shot by Jan Molenaar in Napier. During the 50-hour long armed siege of Molenaar's home which had been set up as a stronghold and contained many military style weapons and improvised explosives, Molenaar also shot and wounded two other police officers. Molenaar also died with a post-mortem showing he died from a gunshot wound to the head and the Coroner ruling that all evidence pointed to the wound being self-inflicted.

2008 - Undercover police officer Don Wilkinson was shot dead and another officer was wounded as they were laying a tracking device on a car outside a suspected methamphetamine laboratory in South Auckland. John Skinner was jailed for 15 years for murdering Don Wilkinson and was also given a term of 10 years for attempting to kill the other officer with the sentences to be served concurrently.

2002 - Detective Constable Duncan Taylor was shot dead with a stolen, high-powered rifle by teenager Daniel Luff near Feilding. Luff was at the home of his former girlfriend when he shot Duncan Taylor dead and his Detective partner in the leg.

1996 - Glenn McKibben was shot by former soldier Terence Thompson in Hastings. About two months later Terence Thompson who remained at large was shot dead by a member of the Armed Offenders Squad.

1990 - Sergeant Stewart Guthrie was one of the 12 people killed during the Aramoana massacre. The sole duty police officer at Port Chalmers went to hunt gunman David Gray. Sergeant Guthrie was positioned behind Gray's house when Gray came out of the house and was challenged by Sergeant Guthrie who fired a shot in the air. But Gray responded by firing several shots, which killed Sergeant Guthrie.

1941 - The worst case remains the four officers killed by Stanley Graham on the West Coast in 1941. On 8 October 1941 Constables Edward Best, Percy Tulloch, Frederick Jordan and Sergeant William Cooper went to Graham's Koiterangi farm after a neighbour claimed Stanley Graham had threatened him with a rifle. Graham met the policemen at his front door and although it is not known precisely what happened, three of the officers were shot dead, while the fourth would later die from his wounds. (attribution: NZ History).

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