Seventh fatal police shooting in 11 years

By Paul Harper

Waitara police shooting victim Steven Wallace. Photo / Supplied
Waitara police shooting victim Steven Wallace. Photo / Supplied

This morning's fatal shooting of Lachan Kelly-Tumarae, 19, by police near Napier is the seventh in just over a decade.

The cases have polarised public opinion on the use of firearms by officers, with questions raised over the effectiveness of non-lethal weapons such as tasers.

Wheelchair-bound Shayne Sime, 42, was shot dead by police after a two hour standoff with police in June, 2009, which left an officer and a neighbour injured in the Christchurch suburb of Burnside. Mr Sime was believed to be depressed at the time and the spinal condition which confined him to a wheelchair appeared to be getting worse.

Courier driver Halatau Naitoko - an innocent bystander - was shot dead by police on Auckland's North Western Motorway in January, 2009.

Mr Naitoko was caught in the cross-fire of police aiming at Stephen Hohepa McDonald, 50, who had fled and shot at police from a stolen car following an aggravated robbery.

Police shot dead 37-year-old Haidar Ebbadi Mahdi as he had his wife in a headlock and was threatening to kill her at a house in Pakuranga in 2004.

The same knife had been used to stab a police officer and efforts to subdue the man with pepper spray had failed.

Lee Jane Mettam was fatally shot by a member of the Armed Offenders Squad in 2008 after she threatened to kill the staff of a Vodafone store in Whangarei and aimed her rifle at police in October 2008.

Stephen Jon Bellingham was fatally shot by a senior police officer in Linwood, Christchurch in September 2007, after he advanced on the officer waving a claw hammer above his head, after attacking his own flat and cars parked nearby.

The incident mirrored the shooting of Steven Wallace, 23, who was shot dead by police in the Taranaki town of Waitara after he smashed the windows to more than 100 properties and threatened to kill police officers in April 2000.

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