Police should have shown more compassion for Steven Wallace after he was shot, the Independent Police Conduct Authority said today.

Mr Wallace died about five hours after being shot four times by Senior Constable Keith Abbott in Waitara, Taranaki, in April 2000 after going on a rampage through the town and threatening police.

Police were criticised by the Wallace family and by one independent witness for failing to provide Mr Wallace with first aid and for refusing to allow anyone else to go to his aid while he lay on the street awaiting an ambulance.

While an ambulance was called and some care was given, more should have done, IPCA chairwoman Justice Lowell Goddard said in her report on the shooting released today.

A police officer should have remained with Mr Wallace as soon as it was obvious he was no longer a threat until the ambulance arrived, she said.

"Police should have sought advice from ambulance staff while it was en route to the scene as to what, if any, first aid may have given in the circumstances," she said.

The report showed that two minutes after the shooting, Constable Jason Dombroski approached and placed his hand on Mr Wallace, advising him to remain still and that an ambulance was on its way.

From his observations, Mr Dombroski believed there was very little first aid that could be administered to him.

A witness had offered a blanket, which was initially refused by police before being accepted.

Mr Dombroski placed the blanket over Mr Wallace.

Another officer had applied a sling bandage to Mr Wallace and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived at 4.20am, 17 minutes after the shooting.

A surgeon said Mr Wallace died from a significant wound to his liver, which caused extensive bleeding and which could not be sufficiently controlled under surgery.

The surgeon and a pathologist confirmed that even if first aid had been rendered immediately after the shooting, Mr Wallace would not have survived.

Justice Goddard said the blanket offered by the witness should have been placed over Mr Wallace earlier.

"Notwithstanding the traumatic effect of the incident on the officers concerned, more should have been done to show compassion and concern for Steven Wallace, once it was ascertained he was no longer a threat.

"However, even if first aid had been provided immediately, this would not have saved Steven Wallace's life."

The report said that at the time of the shooting, armed offenders squad staff received training in the actions to be taken when someone was shot, including first aid, but general duties staff did not. The Police Manual of Best Practice did not provide for post-shooting action to be taken by general duties personnel.

Police Commissioner Howard Broad acknowledged Justice Goddard's comments today.

"However I am confident that these, and other matters identified closer to the time have subsequently been addressed in our training and procedures."

- NZPA