'I knew I had killed him' - officer

Last updated 12:35 16/04/2014
Lachan Kelly-Tumarae standard
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GONE: Lachan Kelly-Tumarae, 19, was shot and killed by police officers in 2010.

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The officer who fatally shot an armed teenager thought he was going to see brains shot out of a police car that night.

Today is the second day of an inquest into the death Lachan Kelly-Tumarae which is being heard in Hastings.

Kelly-Tumarae was shot four times after he pointed a shotgun at a police officer outside a cemetery in the Hawke's Bay town of Omahu in March 2011.

Coroner Peter Ryan banned the media from publishing any details that might identify the three officers involved to protect their safety.

An officer, known as Officer 6, fired 14 bullets from his Glock pistol that night.

Four hit Kelly-Tumarae, while another appeared to have passed through his clothing without touching his body.

The officer with more than 10 years experience in the police did not believe further training could have prepared him better for the incident. The training got him through that night, he told the inquest today.

He was working alone when he heard a Napier police officer on the radio say he had had a gun pointed at him.

"I could hear fear and nervousness in his voice," Officer 6, said in his brief read to the inquest.

Officer 6, armed himself and joined the police pursuit which got up to speeds of 160kmh before Kelly-Tumarae stopped near the Omahu cemetery.

Officer 6 thought "what the f..." when another officer pulled up next to Kelly-Tumarae's vehicle.

"It was not part of police procedure," Officer 6 said.

Kelly-Tumarae took an aggressive stance and aimed the barrel into the police car with two officers inside.

"He was looking down the barrel like a slow calculated aim," Officer 6 said.

"I thought to myself I'm going to see brains coming out the other side of the police vehicle."

Officer 6 got out of his car and drew his weapon.

Kelly-Tumarae then ran towards Officer 6.

"I thought I was going to wear it," he said in his brief of evidence.

Kelly-Tumarae then turned towards the cemetery but turned back to Officer 6 when he yelled: "armed police".

Officer 6 fired four or five shots aiming at Kelly-Tumarae's torso.

He fired a second round when he thought he missed his target.

Kelly-Tumarae then stumbled and fell to the ground.

'He was as white as a sheet," Officer 6 said.

"I knew I had killed him and it was the worst feeling I've ever had."

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) last year ruled that police were justified in shooting Kelly-Tumarae.

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- The Dominion Post

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