26 Oct 2017

Police officer cleared in Christchurch shooting

12:54 pm on 26 October 2017

A Christchurch police officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing after shooting at a man who pointed his gun at another officer.

A police car outside a cordon in South Auckland

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The incident happened in the suburb of Woolston in February, when police confronted Murray Allan who was sitting in a parked car.

They had earlier been warned he could be carrying three firearms.

Police said Mr Allan pointed a gun at an officer and seven shots were fired at him, one causing a minor wound to his forehead.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority found this was justified given the immediate danger Mr Allan posed to the officers present.

Authority chair Judge Colin Doherty said the officer who fired the shots was aware that a safety alert had been issued for Mr Allan and that he was considered a 'significant risk' to police officers and members of the public.

"Given Mr Allan's decision to present a pistol at the officers in a manner indicating an intention to shoot, it was not practical or realistic for the officer to use a lower level of force."

Superintendent John Price, Canterbury District Commander, said he fully supported the officers' actions and he was proud of the way they dealt with the situation.

"The officers involved in this situation not only ensured their own safety, but the safety of their colleagues and the wider public, in what was an extremely high pressure situation."