6 Sep 2016

Officers cleared in fatal McDonald's shooting

11:57 am on 6 September 2016

Two police officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a man at a fast food restaurant in Upper Hutt last year.

The scene

The scene of the shooting in Upper Hutt last year. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Pera Smiler, 25, was shot dead by police at a McDonald's restaurant in Setpember last year.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) today released its report into the shooting.

Authority chairman Sir David Carruthers said the police response was "justified, immediate and effective".

"The police officers who armed themselves and went towards Upper Hutt McDonald's did so at great personal risk, in order to protect the public.

"They believed that people in the restaurant had been shot. I acknowledge the bravery and professionalism of all the officers who responded on that day," Mr Carruthers said.

The IPCA viewed CCTV footage as well as videos of events recorded by people on their cellphones.

Mr Smiler had entered the restaurant with a rifle which he fired three times, once into the ceiling and twice at police.

He was shot simultaneously by an Armed Offender Squad officer and the Acting Sergeant, as he raised his weapon at police.

Mr Smiler died at the scene.

The report said Mr Smiler had a history of mental health issues, suicide attempts, and drug use and his family had contacted police that morning concerned about his well being.

Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Sam Hoyle said in a statement he was proud of the way officers responded that day.

"The death of Mr Smiler was a tragedy for his family and a traumatic event for the many members of the public who were there.

"This was a very dangerous situation involving Mr Smiler firing shots inside the McDonald's, and then firing at police," Mr Hoyle said.

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