Main findings from the Independent Police Complaints Authority inquiry into the police shooting of Steven Wallace:-

Were police justified in arming themselves to respond to Steven Wallace's actions?

Both Senior Constable Keith Abbott and Constable Jason Dombroski had eye-witness evidence of Mr Wallace's extreme violence directed at people as well as property. This left them in no doubt that they were dealing with an emergency, which required uplifting firearms from the Waitara Police Station to respond to a real threat of death or grievous bodily harm to themselves or to others in the vicinity. The officers were therefore justified in arming themselves.

Did police follow proper procedures when issuing themselves with firearms?

The officers' failure to complete the firearms register was a technical breach of the general instruction, but an understandable one given the officers' entirely reasonable view that they faced an emergency.

Was Mr Abbott justified in firing a warning shot?

Mr Abbott complied with required policy, having repeatedly told Mr Wallace to surrender his weapons without success and by firing a shot directly into the air without placing anyone at risk. By his actions Mr Abbott made it clear to Mr Wallace that he was not being shot at, but was receiving a warning.

Was the shooting justified in law??

In accordance with the jury's verdict (in a murder prosecution brought by the Wallace family), Mr Abbott was lawfully justified in shooting Mr Wallace in self-defence and in the defence of others. Mr Wallace was shot, not because he had broken windows, or because he was resisting or escaping from arrest, but because Mr Abbott had reasonable grounds to fear for his own life and for that of Mr Dombroski.

What other tactical options were available and considered?

Given the limited nature of the available resources and the immediate threat presented by Mr Wallace, no option was available to the officers at the critical time other than use of force.

Did Mr Abbott's mistaken belief about the identity of the person he was dealing with affect his handling of the situation (Mr Abbott believed he was dealing with David Toa whom he had known for several years)?

Mr Abbott's mistaken belief that he was dealing with David Toa did not materially affect his handling of the situation.

Had Mr Abbott consumed alcohol prior to the shooting?

There is no evidence that he had consumed alcohol before shooting Mr Wallace.

Was Mr Abbott suffering from post traumatic stress disorder at the time of the shooting?

There is no evidence that he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder on April 30, 2000.

Was the police response appropriate in terms of command and control?

The lack of communication between Mr Dombroski and Mr Abbott reflected the urgency of the situation they faced. In the authority's view, Sergeant Fiona Prestidge's leadership was reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances.

Was Mr Wallace given appropriate first aid and care after he was shot?

Notwithstanding the traumatic effect of the incident on the officers concerned, more should have been done to show compassion and concern for him, once he was no longer a threat. However, even if first aid had been provided immediately, this would not have saved him.

Did police appropriately and liaise with Mr Wallace's family?

Although some time was taken to positively confirm his identity, the proper process in terms of family liaison was followed as soon as it was confirmed.

Did police deliberately intimidate jurors by wearing uniforms at Mr Abbott's trial?

There is no evidence that the police officers concerned wore their uniforms to court in a deliberate attempt to influence the jurors or to intimidate the Wallace family.

However, the wearing of uniform to court when attending to support a colleague and while not on duty is a breach of the relevant policy. It also gives an impression of solidarity and thus risks creating the impression that the officers concerned hope to influence the jury.

- NZPA