Coronial Inquest into the death of Daniel Josef ADWENT
Delivered on: 13 May 2019
Delivered at: Perth
Finding of: State Coroner Fogliani
Suppression Order: N/A
Summary: The deceased at the time of his death was a 44 year old male who died at Fiona Stanley Hospital on 21 March 2015 as a result of a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The deceased had been conveyed there by ambulance after being shot by a police officer who had responded to a call out concerning an alleged domestic violence incident involving his wife.
The focus of the inquest was the actions of the police during the course of the call out and the shooting, including an assessment of whether those actions were taken in the course of carrying out a legitimate law enforcement activity and the treatment and care of the deceased at Fiona Stanley Hospital.
Late on the night of 20 March 2015 the deceasedâ€™s wife telephoned police claiming she had been assaulted by him. Police officers attended the scene and sought to arrest the deceased. The deceased became agitated and aggressive towards the police and police attempted to control the deceasedâ€™s threatening behaviour with a Taser, which was deployed on two occasions and failed. Capsicum spray was also unsuccessful. The deceased had in his possession a knife and moved towards the two police officers, lunging at one of them. The police officer discharged his firearm with a single shot which struck the deceased in the abdomen causing him to fall to the ground.
Paramedics treated the deceased at the scene before he was conveyed to the emergency department at Fiona Stanley Hospital. The deceased was taken to theatre for surgery. Despite extensive resuscitative efforts, the deceased was unable to be revived.
The State Coroner concluded the incident between the deceased and police officers escalated quickly and without warning and that within a matter of moments the deceased took out a knife and began advancing on the officers, who kept moving backwards, away from him. The State Coroner was satisfied that within the time frame of the incident, there were minimal opportunities to de-escalate the situation and the deceased was shot in self-defence.
The State Coroner noted that the body armour project, the CAD and TADIS enhancements and the body worn camera project together operate to improve police responses to incidents in similar circumstances.
Catch Words: State Trauma Services: Police shooting : Body Armour : Body Worn Cameras for Police : Homicide by Self-defence.
Report: Daniel Josef ADWENT