Shot courier died instantly, family told

Halatau Naitoko would have died instantly when accidentally shot by police, a forensic pathologist has told the coroner's inquest into his death.

Dr Jane Christina Vuletic carried out the autopsy on Mr Naitoko, 17, who died on Auckland's northwestern motorway in January.

He was shot by police as they chased Stephen Hohepa McDonald, who was later jailed for 13 years on 23 charges.

Questioned by Colin Pidgeon QC, representing the Naitoko family, Dr Vuletic said death would have been immediate.

He died from one gun shot wound to the left chest from a police bullet.

Fragments of bullet were found in his heart, and he had one litre of blood in each chest cavity, she told the inquest.

Mr Naitoko, an innocent bystander, was caught in the crossfire between police and McDonald when a pursuit stopped on the motorway on January 23.

McDonald had been trying to hijack a truck.

The officer who fired the fatal shot had permanent name suppression in McDonald's court appearance.


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