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Auckland Police: Fatal shot fired by officer

New Zealand Police Alert 4:20pm 24 Jan 2009 Auckland City
Location of incident: Auckland City

Fatal shot fired by officer

MEDIA RELEASE
January 24, 2009 4pm

Fatal shot fired by officer

The post-mortem examination of 17 year-old Halatau Naitoko, who was fatally shot while travelling on the Northwestern Motorway yesterday afternoon, was carried out this morning and was attended by an ESR ballistics expert who has advised Police that the fatal shot came from a Police issue firearm.

Auckland Assistant Commissioner Steve Shortland says the homicide investigation into Mr Naitoko's death has so far - and there's a mountain more work to be done - established that five shots were fired by Police at the motorway scene yesterday.

'The firearms used by Police at the motorway scene were seized yesterday and all spent rounds have been accounted for,' Mr Shortland said.

'Right now Superintendent George Fraser is visiting Halatau's family to inform them of the investigation findings so far. There's no easy way to say what we must say to the Naitoko family who are suffering greatly today.'

Mr Shortland said those officers who fired rounds at the fatal motorway scene have identified themselves to the homicide investigation team and have given accounts of their actions.

'They are yet to be formally interviewed and those interviews will be carried out by staff who are coming to Auckland from out-of-district, specifically to carry out those important tasks.

'We said yesterday that, no matter who fired the fatal shot, the events of January 23 in and around Auckland were tragic for all concerned,' Mr Shortland said.

'They are no less tragic today for the Naitoko family and are more tragic for the officers involved who, it must be remembered, were where they were doing their duties because a man with a loaded gun chose to rampage throughout the region without regard to anyone's safety.

'That man, a 50 year-old who is at this stage accused of a firearms offence, was wounded by Police and underwent surgery this morning to remove shrapnel from his chest and back. He remains under guard in Auckland Hospital.

'Another man who was injured during the tragedy was treated and discharged from Auckland Hospital yesterday.'

Mr Shortland said that many people had witnessed some of the events of yesterday's hour-long pursuit and had given accounts to investigators.

However, if there are people out there who have information about parts of the pursuit and its tragic conclusion, they should contact the Operation Madison team on 09 302 6567.

ENDS

Website: www.police.govt.nz

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