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Investigation into accidental police shooting

Investigation into accidental police shooting

Police are continuing their investigations today into the non-intentional shooting of a man in Hastings by police yesterday evening.

Iriheke Te Kani Manu Pere, 33, of Hastings, was injured when a police firearm was accidentally discharged during his arrest outside a Hastings house.

He is currently in a serious but stable condition in Wellington Hospital.

Police were called to a Karamu Rd house around 5.30pm yesterday after members of his family became concerned about his behaviour, including his possession of a firearm that he had previously presented at family members. Consequently, armed police were sent to deal with the incident.

Members of the Hawke's Bay Armed Offenders Squad arrived at the house and made a voice appeal for Mr Pere to come out. He walked out of the house as directed and lay face-down on the front lawn while police attached plastic restraints to his hands. He was fully compliant during the arrest. Police then cleared the house and found a firearm under a bed.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Investigations Glenn Dunbier said at that point police officers moved forward to lift Mr Pere to his feet, including an AOS member. It was at this time that the Bushmaster rifle carried by the AOS member accidentally discharged.

Mr Pere suffered a single gunshot wound to his upper right middle back region. He was immediately given First Aid by police staff at the scene and was taken to hospital by ambulance. Mr Pere was transferred to Wellington Hospital around 10pm last night.

An internal police investigation is underway headed by Detective Superintendent Paul Kench from Wellington. The investigating team will also include specialist interviewers from outside the Eastern District. The Independant Police Conduct Authority is also conducting their own investigation.

Mr Dunbier said none of Mr Pere's actions during the course of the arrest had contributed to the shooting. He had been compliant and was not resisting police.

Police had been with Mr Pere's family last night and had accompanied them to Wellington this morning to be with him. The family were understandably shocked but were coming to terms with what had taken place.

Police this morning were speaking with local residents and any other possible witnesses to the shooting. ESR staff are due at the scene later this morning.

Forensic tests would be carried out on the firearm to determine if there was any possible malfunction. The officer involved is currently on leave and will be interviewed in due course by investigating officers. All staff who were at the scene are also being interviewed.

"The officer involved is understandably extremely upset by what has happened and we have support mechanisms in place for him. He is more concerned about Mr Pere's condition," Mr Dunbier said.

Mr Dunbier said police were taking the incident extremely seriously.

"This is a terrible tragedy and we will be conducting a thorough and robust investigation into what took place and how the firearm came to be discharged in such a manner.

"At this point in time we cannot confirm why the firearm was discharged and whether it was human error or a firearm malfunction. That will be revealed during the course of the investigation. We have a lot of work to do over coming weeks to determine exactly what happened and how it happened," Mr Dunbier said.

END

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