15 Jul 2020

Police shooting of man at Hastings school justified - IPCA

11:48 am on 15 July 2020

An officer who shot and wounded a man in the grounds of a Hastings school has been cleared by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

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Photo: RNZ / Patrice Allen

Flaxmere Primary School went into lockdown on 17 December last year after a man started behaving in a threatening manner.

The man had an air pistol tucked into the front of his clothing, and when he appeared to pull out the pistol and put a round in the chamber, the officer shot him once with a rifle in the arm and abdomen.

Independent Police Conduct Authority chairperson Colin Doherty said he accepted the officer genuinely believed the man could seriously hurt or kill his two colleagues, and fired the shot to defend them.

Eastern District Commander Superintendent Tania Kura it was an evolving situation where an agitated individual with a weapon posed a risk to officers, pupils and staff members of a primary school.

"This incident is an example of the dynamic decision-making our officers are expected to make every day, in order to keep themselves and other people safe."

Police said a taser was used unsuccessfully because the man was too far away from the officer.

The man received serious but not life-threatening injuries and had fully recovered, they said.