The coroner's suggestion that the shooting of David Cerven in Myers Park last month may have been self-inflicted has been praised by Police Association boss Greg O'Connor.
In a minute released to lawyer and blogger Graeme Edgeler on Friday, Coroner Katharine Greig confirmed that Slovakian national Cerven, 21, was unarmed when he was gunned down by two armed officers in Central Auckland on August 2.
Key points made available by Coroner Katharine Greig:
• That Cerven was shot by police officers in Myers Park, Central Auckland on August 2, 2015.
• That Cerven died as a result of the injuries he sustained when shot.
•That prior to being shot, Cerven had told attending police he was armed.
• That after being shot, David Cerven was found to be unarmed. No weapon was found at the scene.
• That there is currently reasonable cause to believe the death was self-inflicted, though this is In no way a concluded view on the matter.
Ms Greig said it was "currently reasonable cause to believe the death was self-inflicted, though this is in no way a concluded view on the matter." She also noted that before being shot, Cerven had told police he was armed.
Police Association head Greg O'Connor said cases of suicide by cop were often suspected, but difficult to prove.
Fatal shootings took their toll on the officers involved as well as the victim's loved ones, he said.
"The unfortunate thing about suicide by police is that it actually does involve other people. It's like the train driver when people jump on the tracks - it is very traumatic for those involved.
"It's something that every police officer hopes won't happen to them."
Mr O'Connor said that when confronted with an armed person, police had to deal with the situation based on the particular circumstances.
"Police have to deal with what's in front of them, and the reality is that [suicide by police] is suspected in many cases, but we may never know unless someone leaves a note or tells someone."
There were cases where people demanded to be shot by police, but weren't, he said.
"Many cases are resolved without shooting. What's forgotten in this is that often police will be able to use dogs or Tasers and it's only very rarely that we have to resort to using a firearm," Mr O'Connor said.
He praised the coroner for releasing details of the case, while it was still fresh in people's minds.
"While it's more contemporary in the minds of people, it's more relevant. In three years' time it will have been forgotten."
Police have continually refused to address questions from the Herald regarding whether or not Cerven was armed on the night he was shot. The shooting was caught on CCTV.
Information about the number of rounds that were fired at the young man, or the number of bullets he was hit with also remains unknown.
In a statement issued this morning, Auckland City Police District Commander Superintendent Richard Chambers said the death was still being investigated.
The statement said Mr Chambers "reiterated his earlier comments about the tragic circumstances surrounding Mr Cerven's death and said he hoped it would act as a reminder to anyone who threatened to use firearms in the presence of police that such threats would be treated seriously and responded to appropriately in order to protect the public and the safety of staff".
Cerven, a skilled kickboxer who had suffered a career-ending knee injury, came to Auckland on March 20 on a 12 month working visa.
He worked as an apprentice roofer and later as a waterproofer. A former colleague said he was hardworking and friendly, but once spoke of wanting to die.
Cerven told the colleague he was desperate to pay off a €30,000 (NZ$50,584) loan he took out before coming to New Zealand.
On August 2, he was named as a suspect in three armed robberies on Auckland's North Shore in a press release put out by police.
A little over six hours later, he gave himself up - calling 111 at 7.23pm to say he was in Myers Park and wanted by police for the aggravated robbery. He was shot dead at the scene.
Cerven's mother Maria Cervenova, a teacher in the small Slovakian town of Dolny Kubin, is still in the dark about the death of her son.
A New Zealand police officer visited Ms Cervenova in Sovakia, but was unable to answer any of her questions, family friend Renata Marko said.
"She asked why the video from the camera in the park has not been released, she asked about the witness statements, she wanted to know how many times they shot him, but they told her nothing."
Ms Marko said Cerven's mother has also asked to hear her son's 111 call, but had not been able to.
"They're sure taking their sweet time and they sure don't want to talk about anything," Ms Marko said.
She said Police had also been through communications between Cerven and his mother online - and had a transcript of the last time they chatted on Skype.
Ms Marko said the conversations, which Ms Cervenova liked to read back through, had since been deleted from the Skype account.
"She wanted to save the last little piece of the conversation she had with him - when he said how much he loved her and how sorry he was before the end - but now it's all deleted.
"He told her how much he loved her and about all his problems, but it's all gone."
Lawyer and blogger Graeme Edgeler on why he pursued permission to report on the shooting of David Cerven:
"I think it is ridiculous that the law can automatically suppress the fact police have shot and killed someone. I think the public is entitled to know that and entitled to know that lawfully. It can only happen with the permission of a Coroner, so I asked for permission. When that permission was refused, I had to review that decision in the High Court. I'm glad that permission has finally been granted, but five weeks to be able to lawfully report information made public by Police at a press conference is too long."
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (4pm to 6pm weekdays)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• The Word
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
List of police shootings
• May 3, 2015. Vaughan William John Te Moananui, 33, was shot after he refused to surrender to police, and pulled out a gun in Thames. He was taken to hospital but died shortly afterwards.hortly afterwards;
• July 7, 2013. Caleb Henry, 20,was shot on Auckland's northern motorway after committing a home invasion in Opotiki. Officers chased him from Cambridge and eventually stopped him with road spikes. He was pointing his gun at officers when a member of the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) fired and killed him;
• June 8, 2013. Adam Te Rata Charles Morehu, 33, was shot and killed after shots were fired at police at the New Plymouth Golf Club in June 2013. The IPCA later said poor communication and a lack of command and control during this incident contributed to the events that unfolded;
• July 15, 2011. Anthony Ratahi, 46, was shot and killed as he struggled with a police dog following a siege in Opunake, 65km south of New Plymouth. He had been holding ex-partner Marcelle Beer hostage at the Headlands Hotel for 12 hours prior to the killing;
• March 28, 2011. Lachan Kelly-Tumarae, 19, was shot four times by an officer after a police chase in Omahu, near Hastings. Kelly-Tumarae was killed after he stopped his car and pointed a gun at officers;
• June 28, 2009. 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, who was wheelchair bound was believed to be depressed at the time and his death was later ruled a suicide;
• 23 January, 2009. Halatau Naitoko, 17 - an innocent bystander - was shot dead by police on Auckland's North Western Motorway. 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;
• October 23, 2008. Lee Jane Mettam, 37, 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;
• September 26, 2007. Stephen Bellingham, 37, shot dead by a policeman in Christchurch about 8.30pm after smashing cars/car windows with a claw hammer. Said to have been on a party-pill binge. Advanced on the police officer with the hammer. Warned but kept advancing. Hit in chest (fatally) and one leg. Policeman said to have fired four shots (these details just four days later);
• August 14, 2004. Haidar Ebbadi Mahdi 37, died from a bullet to the head as he stabbed his wife being held in a headlock in a South Auckland house on Saturday afternoon;
• April 30, 2000. Steven Wallace, 23, of Waitara, shot after a window smashing spree in the town;
• July 1, 1999. Edwin Leo, 31, shot near Helensville, Auckland, following a car chase;
• September 21, 1996. James Raharuhi killed by a single police bullet at a service station in Greenlane, Auckland;
• June 24, 1996. Terence Thompson shot in a Havelock North orchard. Thompson was the prime suspect in the slaying of Constable Glenn McKibbin;
• November 20, 1995. Barry Radcliffe shot after taking a rifle from a sporting goods store in Whangarei;
• September 28, 1995. Eric Gellatly shot in Invercargill, after he took over a sports shop in the central city and began firing indiscriminately;
• July 29, 1993. Larry Hammond died after being shot three times in the Morrinsville police station;
• November 14, 1990. Members of the anti-terrorist squad shot David Malcolm Gray after he killed 13 people at Aramoana, Otago;
• October 27, 1990. Paul Melvin Stowers died after being shot in the forehead by a detective whom he threatened with a shotgun in Newmarket, Auckland;
• March 14, 1986. Benjamin Wharerau shot as he took a hostage in a robbery of a Dargaville bank;
• June 6, 1985. Kevin David Fox was shot after he killed his wife in a car in Gore;
• April 18, 1983. Paul Chase shot by the armed offenders squad in a raid on a Petone, Wellington, flat;
• December 24, 1982. John Edward Morgan shot near Wainuiomata, Wellington, after throwing an axe at police;
• May 20, 1979. Nicholas Panayi shot by the armed offenders squad outside his Henderson, Auckland, home after a domestic dispute;
• October 4, 1976. The armed offenders squad shot Daniel Houpapa after he fires at an officer in Taumarunui;
• 1975. Edward Ross shot by the armed offenders squad as he stabbed his daughter after escaping from a Christchurch psychiatric hospital;
• April 16, 1970. Bruce John Glensor, holding two hostages in a Wellington house shot by the armed offenders squad when he threatened to shoot an officer;
• December 14, 1949. Waata Haremia Momo shot in Weedon, Canterbury, after exchanging shots with police;
• October 20, 1941. West Coast farmer Eric Stanley Graham killed after shooting three policemen and three civilians.