In the Christchurch Press today, front page is a witness , a father with his 3 children appear in a heart wrenching photo under the headline Friends see shot man die .
One of the kids ,the 5 -year old lad, asked a police officer attending the disturbing incident ;
" Why did you shoot my friend?"
The comment is a sad indictment for police culture ;
"Us cops don't get paid enough to go home in a box."
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Police move body of gunned down man
LATEST: Police have removed the body of a man gunned down by police last night in front of friends and have revealed he took 25 minutes to die.
At an early morning press conference, police said the 37-year-old man, whose identity has not been released, was shot by an officer following a domestic incident.
The man was shot about 8.36pm on Stanmore Road and died shortly after 9pm, police district commander Sandra Manderson said.
The man's family in the North Island have been informed of his death.
Police were called to the incident at a house off Avonside Drive, Linwood, at 8.26pm.
A man was reported to be smashing a flat where he lived with a hammer.
The man left the house and walked to nearby Stanmore Road.
Police found the man attacking a vehicle on Stanmore Road, still armed with a hammer.
Manderson said the two officers were called to the incident, one of them armed.
Officers gave the man a verbal warning but the man continued to make threats against them.
Manderson said the police officer who shot the man felt his life was "under serious threat". Manderson said the man was threatening serious harm to the police officer.
"Obviously they were serious threats ... serious enough for a shooting to take place. Obviously very serious," she said.
Police were trying to confirm if other weapons were involved.
"At this stage I'm only aware of the hammer ... but we're doing inquiries. There's a possibility other weapons were involved," she said.
Manderson said she was unaware if the officer who shot the man had attempted to use pepper spray on him first.
Asked if a taser might have been a better option had one been available, she said: "I can't comment, because I wasn't there. Of course it would be much preferable if the person wasn't dead."
POLICE BACK DECISION
The Police Association today backed the officer involved in the shooting.
President Greg O'Connor said the officer would be offered the association's support.
"This is the situation every police officer dreads.
"It's a possibility police face every time they go on shift. Even so, nobody goes to work expecting to be placed in a position where they are forced to shoot somebody," Mr O'Connor said.
He said it was inevitable that "armchair critics" would speculate and make judgments about what could or should have been done.
"But the officer involved was the person who was there, facing the situation, who had the training, and who was faced with the responsibility of actually making a decision," he said.
"It's a hell of a decision to have to make. I know that officer will be feeling absolutely shattered by that experience."
An email circulated by a Christchurch police officer calling for police to shoot offenders armed with knives had no connection to last night's shooting, Manderson said.
Police are investigating the original source of the email, which included graphic pictures in a bid to get police officers to wear their stab-resistant vests and the words: "If you've got a knife, then you should die ... period."
"It's certainly unfortunate (the shooting) happened, but it's got no relationship to the email whatsoever," Manderson said.
The officer involved in the incident is still being interviewed by police and has not been stood down.
Manderson said a homicide inquiry and a Police Complaints Authority (PCA) inquiry had begun into the incident.
"The homicide inquiry will be run parallel to the Police Complaints Authority inquiry using separate teams of staff," she said.
The PCA staff were due in Christchurch this morning.
Last night, a neighbour, who did not want to be identified, said four shots were fired.
"We heard sounds like the dull thud of a panel being hit and then a car alarm going off. "There were more thuds and then the four shots," he said.
When he looked out the window there was a body in the road.
"I could see him lying in the road and then they put a sheet over him later. I heard the guy across the road saying Steve had been shot."
The neighbour, who had experience with firearms, said the shots sounded like a light-calibre pistol.
Three ambulances attended the scene but a spokesman said nobody was taken to hospital.
Another neighbour said the police told all the residents to go inside because the area was now a crime scene.
Manderson said she had asked for the police kaumatua, the Rev Maurice Gray, to ensure the cultural process of tapu lifting would be carried out correctly when the scene examination was complete.
Last night's victim was the 21st killed by police since 1941.
The last to die before this incident was Haidar Ebbadi Mahdi, 37, shot by a police officer at his home in Auckland in August 2004.
Mahdi was killed as he held his wife in a choke hold with a knife at her throat.
The policeman who fired the shot had already been stabbed by Mahdi.
Police were later cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting.