Media statement – Whanganui shooting

Saturday, 7 January 2017 - 12:19pm
The following can be attributed to Superintendent Sue Schwalger, Central District Commander.

Shortly after 7pm last night Police received a call from a woman reporting that her partner had assaulted her.

On arrival at the Mitchell Street address police officers spoke with Savey Kevin Sous, a 32-year-old Upper Hutt man, and the woman, who had visible injuries.

When officers approached Mr Sous to inform him he was under arrest he told the officers to step back, pulled out a concealed, loaded sawn-off shot gun and pointed it at the unarmed officers.

The officers retreated and cordons were put in place while the Armed Offenders Squad was called. The woman was able to safely leave the address and nearby residents were advised to stay in their houses and away from the windows.

While the AOS were deploying, Mr Sous was seen at the rear of the address and called upon to put the weapon down a number of times.

Mr Sous ignored these requests and continued to walk to the front of the address where other members of the AOS were present.

These officers called upon Mr Sous to stop. As he walked toward them he presented the weapon at them. When he failed to comply with their directions he was shot by an AOS member. Three shots were fired in total, hitting Mr Sous in the torso and arm.

Police provided immediate first aid at the scene until ambulance staff arrived. Mr Sous was transported to hospital, under Police escort, in a critical condition. Police were advised at 9.45pm that Mr Sous had died from his injuries.

This is a tragic outcome. No police officer comes to work wanting to end up in a situation where lethal force is necessary.

In all situations, police training is focused on resolving the situation with the least amount of force necessary. Firearms have been and will always be a last resort.

Unfortunately, in a small number of circumstances, and when offenders carry firearms and present a serious threat to their community or staff safety, police have no option but to resort to firearms.

As is standard practice, Police have launched an internal investigation into the circumstances leading up to the shooting of Mr Sous. The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has been notified and Mr Sous’ death has been referred to the Coroner.

The victim of the original 111 call is receiving assistance from Police and Victim Support, and is also being supported by family members.

The officers involved are also being supported and appropriate welfare is being organised for them.

Cordons around the Mitchell Street property have been lifted, but a scene guard will remain in place until scene examinations are complete.


Issued by Police Media Centre.

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