Over the last 4 days the've discovered 4 dead bodys all unrelated and now this on Monday
We were right to fire at shooter, say police
5:00AM Wednesday January 23, 2008
By Juliet Rowan
Police check the van involved in the pursuit. Photo / Alan Gibson
Related nzherald links:
Teenager in court over high speed police chase (+photos)
Police say they made the right decision to shoot a man who fired at officers during a 150km pursuit through the Bay of Plenty to the Coromandel town of Waihi.
"The decision to shoot on the evidence we have before us appears to be justified," Detective Inspector Peter Devoy said yesterday.
The 19-year-old man remained in a critical but stable condition in Waikato Hospital last night.
Mr Devoy said he had undergone surgery for a single bullet wound to the torso fired by an armed offenders squad officer at the end of Monday's pursuit.
Witnesses said the 19-year-old, who was the passenger in a stolen van allegedly driven by his 18-year-old girlfriend, emerged from the van pointing a rifle at police when the vehicle was forced off the road at Waihi.
Mr Devoy yesterday revealed that the gun - a .22 calibre rifle - was loaded and the van was carrying explosives and ammunition.
He said the armed offenders squad officer shot the 19-year-old after he fired shots with the rifle which struck two police cars during the pursuit and "immediately raised it into an aim position" when surrounded by officers in Waihi.
The man had been spoken to by cellphone during the pursuit and reports that he had surrendered before being shot with a police-issue .223 calibre M4 rifle were wrong.
"That's not what happened," Mr Devoy said.
The incident began when the man and his girlfriend allegedly broke into a property in Ngongotaha, near Rotorua, at 12.30pm on Monday, and stole firearms and a Toyota Hiace van.
The van was pursued by police from Ngongotaha to Tauranga via the Tauranga Direct Rd, and then on to State Highway 2 to Waihi.
Mr Devoy said shots were first fired by the 19-year-old on State Highway 2 and then in Waihi, where the van continued to drive around the streets for several minutes despite three flat tyres caused by police road spikes.
Mr Devoy said the police communications centre spoke to the man by cellphone during the pursuit and the tapes would form part of investigations into the incident.
Police are conducting one investigation and the Independent Police Conduct Authority (formerly the Police Complaints Authority) is conducting a separate investigation.
Officers had not been able to speak to the 19-year-old man because he remained sedated after surgery.
"The focus of his treatment today has been to keep him alive," Mr Devoy said.
The man's girlfriend, Yana Poata, faces three charges in relation to the incident and was remanded in custody when she appeared in the Tauranga District Court yesterday afternoon.
At first I thought he was shot with the issue Glock 17 but it turns out it was one of the new M4' they bought in 2006 or 2007.
How much ya wanna bet the owner of the stolen weapons gets more prison time than either of the criminals?