The ABC have a report on the February 2011 fatal shooting of a 27 year old Canberran man.
Nathan Doherty died after being shot in the chest during an encounter with police. He had allegedly threatened his ex-partner whilst under the influence of alcohol. Doherty “lunged” at police wielding a knife and a meat cleaver at which point the officer fired. He had been recognised as suffering from mental illness. Doherty had previously been involved in a similar situation in 2007 where he had been shot in the leg and had also attempted suicide.
The case was looked into earlier in the month and the verdict was decided yesterday. ACT Chief Coroner Lorraine Walker cleared the officer of any offence stating that he was acting in self-defence. Coroner Walker has since voiced the concern that there is a lack of communication between ACT police and mental health services, which should be remedied to avoid similar situations.
He [Counsel assisting the Coroner Shane Gill] told the court Sergeant Matthew Gale who fired the fatal shot had believed if he had known Mr Doherty had been shot by police before and had recently attempted suicide, he may have formed a different strategy.