A man who had surrendered to police was ''accidentally'' shot while being helped to his feet.
A single gunshot pierced Iriheke Te Kani Manu Pere's upper back while he was being placed under arrest yesterday.
He is in a serious but stable condition in Wellington Hospital, acting assistant commissioner investigations Glenn Dunbier said at a press conference today.
Police were called to a Hastings home about 5.30pm yesterday after family members became concerned about his behaviour. Pere had pointed a firearm at his mother two days earlier.
Hawke's Bay Armed Offenders Squad were sent to the Karamu Rd house and appealed for him to come.
Pere, 33, walked out and lay face-down on the front lawn while police attached plastic restraints to his hands. He had no weapons on him and was fully compliant during the arrest, Mr Dunbier said. Police found a firearm under his bed when they cleared the house.
Police officers were moving forward to assist Pere to his feet when a Bushmaster rifle being carried by an AOS member discharged. The firearm, which has a trigger guard, was slung on the officer's shoulder.
Pere was given first aid by police before being taken to hospital by ambulance. He was transferred to Wellington Hospital about 10pm last night.
Mr Dunbier said none of Mr Pere's actions during the course of the arrest had contributed to the shooting.
''He had been compliant and was not resisting police,'' he said. ''It's important to remember Mr Pere is a victim in this matter.''
The officer involved is extremely upset and was receiving support.
''He is more concerned about Mr Pere's condition,'' Mr Dunbier said.
He was now on leave. No other officers had been stood down.
''There is no suggestion that any other police officer has been involved in this matter other than near attendance.''
Mr Dunbier said family were shocked and still coming to terms with what had taken place. Police accompanied the family to Wellington this morning. He would not say whether any family members witnessed the shooting, or how many people were at the address.
Wellington detective superintendent Paul Kench is heading an internal police investigation involving interviewers from outside the Eastern District. All officers involved would be questioned.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority is also conducting their own investigation.
Police were speaking with local residents and possible witnesses while ESR staff investigated the scene.
Forensic tests would be carried out on the firearm to determine if there was any possible malfunction.
"At this point in time we cannot confirm why the firearm was discharged and whether it was human error or a firearm malfunction.''
Mr Dunbier said police were taking the incident extremely seriously.
''Police staff come to work every day to make their community safer and an incident of this nature is obviously extremely distressing for Mr Pere's family but also for police staff. We are devastated that this has occurred and will be looking very diligently at how this happened.''
The inquiry is expected to take a few weeks.
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