A police officer who shot a man in the arm as he ran at him with a knife was justified in his use of force, according to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.
On July 28 last year, a man threatened a woman and her daughter with a knife before stealing their car in Blenheim, officials outlined in a report released today.
Police said they chased the man in the stolen car for about 12 kilometres and used road spikes to bring the pursuit to a stop.
However, when the offender ran towards a police officer with a knife in his hand, ignoring calls to drop the weapon, the cop shot him in the arm with his Glock pistol, authorities said.
The offender got into the patrol car - which was running with the keys still in the ignition - and revved the engine, but the officer pointed the gun towards the man and was able to arrest him, police said.
He was treated for his gunshot injury.
Today, the authority said the officer's use of force was justified because he genuinely believed the man would seriously injure or kill him and he fired the shot to defend himself.
The authority also found the officer acted reasonably when leaving the patrol car running, given his assessment that there was an immediate threat to his safety.
“Use of force by police officers is always a last resort,” says Inspector Freda Grace, Acting Tasman District Commander.
“This was a fast-moving and evolving situation, in which the officers involved made judgment calls that were supported by the IPCA.
“Our officers' safety is paramount and we want all our officers to be safe while they are doing their jobs.”