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Hamilton fatal shooting deemed justified

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/06/2017

The fatal shooting of a man who threatened police as they searched a Hamilton warehouse for illegal drugs and guns has been deemed justified by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

On July 12 last year members of the Waikato armed offenders squad carried out a search warrant in Grasslands Place in Frankton, having deemed that the tenant, Nicholas Marshall, was involved in manufacturing firearms and supplying methamphetamine.

Although a loud hailer was used and AOS members yelled they had a search warrant as they rammed the front door, Mr Marshall - who had no criminal history and was deemed low risk by police - did not surrender and instead ran to the rear of the warehouse.

He picked up a pump action shotgun from a bench and squeezed the trigger but it didn't fire.

Mr Marshall then attempted to load a round and refused to drop the gun.

Believing he was about to be shot, AOS "Officer E" - who said his threat assessment went from "the lowest on the scale to the highest" - fired five shots at Mr Marshall, while another officer fired three.

Mr Marshall received five gunshot wounds, two of which were in his upper back.

He was given first aid at the scene but died.

The partner of Mr Marshall, only identified as Mrs X, said Mr Marshall believed they were being home invaded and intended to protect them.

She said "there was no negotiation" and if the police had announced themselves outside properly, Mr Marshall's death could have been avoided.

The officers' actions were justified, believing Mr Marshall presented a real risk of death, IPCA chairman Sir David Carruthers decided.

Waikato District Commander Superintendent Bruce Bird says he is pleased the authority decided his officers were at real risk of serious harm or death and acted appropriately as other tactical options were not viable.

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