The actions of a police officer who fatally shot a machete-wielding man in South Auckland were justified, an investigation has found.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has released its finding this morning; confirming that the shooting of Hitesh Lal by a police officer was justified.
Police and emergency services were called to a street in the suburb of Papatoetoe last April after reports that a man was damaging a property.
The incident happened while the country was in alert level 4 of a Covid-19 lockdown.
A statement released by the IPCA said a police dog handler who arrived at the scene, in the early hours of that morning, heard the sound of "fearful" screams and crying.
"He then saw [Lal], who appeared to be trying to get through a smashed window, at the front of the house from where those cries were coming.
"As the officer approached Lal, he challenged him. Lal turned and moved towards him - he was holding a machete above his head and was making slashing motions at the officer."
'Shoot me, shoot me'!
The officer started to back away and was fearful of the threat he was facing, the statement says.
"He was controlling his dog with one hand and drew his pistol with the other, while screaming instructions at Lal to drop the weapon.
"Lal was screaming: 'Shoot me, shoot me'."
The statement shows that the officer made an urgent call for help over his radio - all the while backing up for about 30m down the street, as Lal continued to swing the machete at him.
The police officer fired two shots at Lal after he managed to back the officer into a nearby driveway - at the end of which the officer found he "had nowhere to go".
Lal fell to the ground after the second shot was fired - just before other police officers arrived at the scene and immediately gave first aid.
"Emergency medical technicians arrived and continued with first aid. However, Lal died at the scene," the statement said.
Judge Colin Doherty, authority chair, said that at the time the officer fired the two shots, Lal kept attacking him with a machete.
"The only possible alternative the officer had was to deploy his dog."
Doherty acknowledged that the officer had made an assessment that that was not the right option in those circumstances.
Doherty said: "We agree with that decision..."