Coroner hears details of fatal police shooting

Donald Ineson was fatally shot by police who responded to reports he was threatening his family...
Donald Ineson was fatally shot by police who responded to reports he was threatening his family with a firearm in November 2018. Photo" Supplied
A woman has relived the 30 minutes of her 111 call when she was on the line to the police while her husband was locked outside the house and armed with a shotgun.

Coroner Sue Johnson suppressed all the contents of the 111 call which was played on the first day of the inquest into the death of Donald Melville Ineson who was fatally shot by police in November 2018.

She also said she understood that the playing of the recording, and the giving of evidence by the wife, Joanne Ineson, would reignite the feelings she felt on the day. She apologised in advance for any distress the coroner's process caused to Joanne Ineson and two armed police who attended the incident - known only as Officers A and B.

The hearing, being held in the Christchurch Court House, is scheduled for up to two weeks.

Coroner Johnson said the inquest would be focused on what happened and why it happened. It was not a trial.

Police Sergeant Scott Allison, the coronial services supervisor for Canterbury, told the hearing that Donald Ineson had presented a shotgun at his wife, after an argument, about 4pm on November 25, 2018. He also threw her cellphone into a fire.

He left the house, still carrying the shotgun, and his wife locked the doors.

She heard two shots and initially believed he had shot himself, but saw him again 10 minutes later.

She shut her and their two children in the bathroom, when she heard him break into the house, and Joanne Ineson told the inquest later that he had got his car keys and gone back outside.

When armed police arrived, after being told there was an active armed offender at the property, Donald Ineson got into his car. Police challenged him and he drove off, striking one officer who was thrown over the vehicle and received serious injuries.

Police fired shots as the car drove away. Ineson stopped the car, did a U-turn back towards them and then pulled the car over and stopped. He was found dead inside the car, after being hit by a bullet fragment that entered his upper back and penetrated his chest.

An inquiry by the Independent Police Conduct Authority concluded that the officers were legally justified in firing to defend the public and other police officers.

Joanne Ineson said the couple had been married since 2004 and had two children, aged 11 and 13, at the time of her husband's death.

She said he suffered from chronic back pain which was getting worse in spite of an operation and medication. "Things got worse and he got down," she said.

After an argument, he had pointed a gun at her and burnt her cellphone. "I absolutely thought I was going to die," she said in her statement.

She heard shots outside and thought he had killed himself, but saw him again later. He then broke into the locked house - she believed he struck the door with an axe - while she locked herself in the bathroom with the children. "I really thought he was going to kill us," she said. She heard him get the car keys and leave.

She did not believe Ineson expected to hit the police officer, because he would have thought he would get out of the way. She had heard him shout, "Get out of the way."

She described hearing "heaps" of shots after that. She did not hear any shots before the car drove off. She believed she had heard her husband yelling after the shots were fired, and believed the recording of the 111 call had been altered. She also said her statement to the police was wrong and had to be corrected. "I have plenty of bits of paper from the police that aren't true," she said.

The inquest is continuing.

-By David Clarkson
Open Justice multimedia journalist


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