Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Hayden Paul STACEY

Inquest into the Death of Hayden Paul STACEY

Delivered on: 18 August 2020

Delivered at: Perth

Finding of: Coroner Jenkin

Recommendations: Yes

The Police should take all necessary steps to introduce a new Taser system which has a greater capacity to cause neuromuscular incapacitation, and is more likely to do so.

Orders/Rules: N/A

Suppression Order: Yes

There be no reporting or publication of any document (or of the information contained in any document) in Volume 2 of Exhibit 1, that would reveal police policies or training methods in relation to body armour, and/or the capabilities of any replacement TASER system being considered and/or the use of force, including firearms.

Summary: Mr Stacey died on 27 May 2018 in a carpark located in Wananup from a gunshot wound to the chest. He was 22 years old.

Prior to his death Mr Stacey was involved in an incident with police. He had armed himself with a large kitchen knife and refused to drop the weapon despite being repeatedly called on to do so. Police tried unsuccessfully to subdue Mr Stacey with their Tasers on three separate occasions. He then advanced on one of the police officers, still armed with a knife and was shot once in the chest. He died from his injuries.

The Coroner accepted police had tried to engage with Mr Stacey, and because of his agitated and evasive behaviour they considered he was having some form of mental health episode. Police intended to take Mr Stacey into custody for assessment. The Coroner found police officers were unable to de-escalate the situation which they were confronted with and so took non-lethal force option by deploying their Tasers. The Coroner accepted police officers believed Mr Stacey posed a serious and imminent threat, not only to their own lives, but also to the lives of others.

The Coroner was satisfied that the police officers conducted themselves reasonably when they interacted with Mr Stacey and that the police officer who fatally shot Mr Stacey had acted lawfully and reasonably.

The Coroner made one recommendation relating to a proposed new Taser system.

Catch Words: Body worn cameras for police : Taser deployment : Gunshot Injury : Homicide by way of self-defence.

Last updated: 3-Mar-2021

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