A police officer who fired 14 shots in the fatal shooting of
a Hastings teenager believed he and his fellow officers would
die in a barrage of gun fire, a coroner's court has heard.
The officer gave dramatic evidence this morning in Hastings
District Count on day-two of an inquest into the death of
Lachan Kelly-Tumarae, 19, who was killed in a 14-shot police
volley on March 28, 2011.
The shooting came as Mr Kelly-Tumarae exited a vehicle near a
State Highway 50 marae cemetery, following a 14km low-speed
pursuit from Napier after aiming a shotgun at police.
The policeman, known only as officer six, gave evidence this
morning hidden from the public with his voice distorted amid
fears for the officers' safety and that of their families.
He said he saw Mr Kelly-Tumarae exit the vehicle and aim the
shotgun at two police officers, looking like a "Mexican
"He looked like he meant business and wanted to kill whoever
was in the vehicle," officer six said.
"I'm going to see brains coming out the other side of the
Officer six stepped out of the car and shouted "armed police"
before Mr Kelly-Tumarae turned to face him.
"The barrel was pointed in my direction and I thought he was
going to shoot me. I thought I was going to wear it."
The officer then, believing he was about to be attacked,
fired "four to five" rounds in quick succession at Mr
"I thought, 'He's still standing and still facing me. I
haven't hit him'."
The officer then fired another five or so shots before Mr
Kelly-Tumarae ran towards the cemetery before dropping the
gun and collapsing.
"I wanted to dominate him, I wanted to be aggressive and
wanted to go home at night."
After walking towards Mr Kelly-Tumarae he said the teenager
looked "white as a sheet" and "dead".
Mr Kelly-Tumarae's grandmother, Narina Tumarae, yesterday
gave the court an insight into the behaviour of her grandson
the night he was killed.
"He had a nice smile on his face - all he said was, 'You
alright nan, what are you doing'."
She believed her grandson went to bed after returning home
and was unaware, until informed by police, he had left the
house and taken off with her late husband's shotgun,
ammunition and her car.
"I've been trying to run it through my head, why? I've never
seen him touch that gun or use that gun before."
Last year the Independent Police Conduct Authority released
its 94-page report into the early-morning shooting at Omahu.
The report found a Hawkes Bay policeman's 14-shot volley,
which killed Mr Kelly-Tumarae, was justified because of the
threats to the officer's own safety.
Investigations revealed the officer fired 14 shots, four
wounding the teenager and another appearing to have passed
through Mr Kelly-Tumarae's clothing without causing injury.
The other nine bullets did not appear to have hit him or his
The inquest continues.