4 Jan 2017

Self-defence upheld in New Caledonia shooting probe

3:17 pm on 4 January 2017

The public prosecutor in New Caledonia has closed the investigation into last October's fatal shooting of a prison escapee William Decoire near Noumea.

no caption

Police said they acted in self-defence when they shot 23-year-old William Decoire. Photo: 123 RF

The probe upheld the initial findings that the 23-year-old man was shot by a police officer acting in legitimate self-defence.

William Decoire was at the wheel of a stolen vehicle when he was stopped by police but was shot after trying to evade by running over an officer.

The incident was reconstructed with the testimony of ten people who were in the vehicle with William Decoire.

The prosecutor Alexis Bouroz said the young man had consumed a lot of alcohol and some cannabis.

The shooting triggered days of riots, roadblocks and armed unrest which left five police officers with gunshot injuries.

The violence subsided after a number of arrests and the killing of another prison escapee in a confrontation within his village.

Last month, William Decoire's mother had lodged a homicide complaint against unknown persons over her son's death.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs