Thursday, July 6, 2017


Neither am I any great shakes with the English language lol.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority released a report today finding that a Police officer was justified in fatally shooting Shargin Stephens on Te Ngae Road in Rotorua, on 14 July 2016, after Mr Stephens threatened Police and members of the public with a long-handled slasher.

However I have a serious problem with the above latest from The Independent Police Complaints Authority.

The Italics above are from the IPCA website!! 

I understand Police using fire arms are trained to aim at the body mass, ie upper central torso where many of the vital organs are located

Now my nitpicking concerns arising from the above IPCA report, come from the implication that the Officer who fired the shots that led to the subsequent demise of the perpetrator in Hospital, had a mindset of "fatal" when he fired at the perp in a downtown commercial car park.
I hopefully assume stopping, disabling and maybe concluding would be drivers for the plod who faced a wielded Slasher in the hands of a "P" fueled male and only shot him when he got close to a range permitting some rather serious potential wounding in spite of scores of recorded asking to put his weapon down in the ten minutes from initial contact to the shooting.

If execution was in fact not the driver for the shooters act then could I respectfully suggest that although his Bushmaster had a higher chance of a wounding with fatal consequences than say a Glock he would have been very unlikely to believe the outcome would be certainly fatal as  the opening line in the press release indicates.

The "fatally" bit about the shooting was post event and I would have hoped the IPCA was focused on events leading up to that shooting, to ascertain if the use of firearms  was justified.

Of course after reading the report it was clear the dead man had more than enough opportunity to abandon his appointment with two rounds from Officer G's Bushmaster, but in the clear drug addled state he had primed himself to, the ultimate outcome was as predictable as sunrise tomorrow apart that was from the dead bit.
Why Judge Caruthers chose to further describe the shooting as "fatally"  is a mystery, however in a rising atmosphere to dramatise any news around firearms, maybe not so mysterious.
Was Caruthers wording influenced by the outcome for the perp rather than the legality of the officers action.

Of course had Officer 'G' been John Wayne, he would have shot the slasher from Mr Stephens grasp with a revolver at 20 meters with no one else at risk from the still travelling .44 slug.
Spare a thought for the ten  officers directly involved in the fast unfolding and at times chaotic series of events in Rotorua just over one year ago. Then there were the many innocent bystanders and the Nurse who was right there and gave assistance to the ultimately badly wounded Male.

What chance a depressing treatment from TV as to what a gentle loving and misunderstood likable person  Shargin Stephens was before the merciless cops went on their adrenaline fueled rampage to end his life.


The Veteran said...

GD ... you fire a weapon (any weapon) at someone and you shoot to kill, not to disable. Disabling is comic book stuff. Of course the officer fatally shot Stephens ... that's the intended outcome. No big deal provided the shooting was justified and the PCA said it was. End of story.

Johno said...

Yep. If the cop is in sufficient danger he has to shoot to disable. That effectively means to kill as disabling shots are probably fatal.
No expert but wonder if a 9mm pistol round is more likely fatal than a 5.56mm rifle round due to slug deformation and complete loss of energy into the victim whereas rifle rounds are more likely to pass right through the victim and not deposit all their energy in them.

The Veteran said...

Johno ... depends where it hits. Bone is a good stopper.

Noel said...

If the police decide to open fire, the rule is simple - aim for the "central body mass".

Shelldrake said...

The good old 7.62 SLR elephant gun made no distinction between bone or flesh. It just carved through and made a bloody big hole on the way out.