Police have shot and killed an unarmed woman after they tried to stop her from walking away from a bus stop, an inquest heard.
The inquest into the death of Samantha Hogg in the early hours of Monday, February 14, heard a male police officer fired five shots from a semi-automatic pistol at Ms Hogg after she appeared to be “acting in a threatening manner”.
The inquest heard Ms Hagg was wearing a helmet, was in a wheelchair and had suffered a “significant head injury”.
She died on the spot from her injuries at the scene.
The inquest continues.
Read moreDetective Inspector Paul Hickey told the coroner Ms Hogs body had been in the back of the bus for about 30 seconds.
“There is a considerable amount of blood on her clothing, and her head has been caved in,” he said.
“The area around the head is caved-in, and there is considerable swelling.”
“She was clearly not in a position to continue walking away, which was obviously what the officer had reason to believe she was going to do.”
He was acting in a manner which was clearly menacing and that is when he fired the shots.
“He said Ms Higg was also struck in the head by a shotgun blast, which killed her.”
This was an extremely dangerous situation, which we do not tolerate, and we will not tolerate it in any circumstances,” he added.
Detective Constable Ian Stewart told the inquest the officer believed Ms Higgs was about to attack him.
He said he had spoken to her “at length” and “felt that she was still alive”.”
She had a small amount of alcohol on her breath and she was very agitated, very distressed, very confused,” he told the court.”
She tried to grab me by the hair and pull me away, but I held her down.
“Mr Stewart said he and Ms Huggs daughter, who had been walking with them, had been “walking down the road” when she was shot.”
That’s when we went into the area where she was, we were going to get the ambulance,” he testified.
He told the jury he had heard “a commotion” from the area, but it was not clear whether it was a struggle or a fight.
Det Constable Stewart said it was “pretty difficult” to tell if Ms Hughs daughter was the victim or the attacker.
He testified that Ms Haughs body was “breathing very heavily” as he put on his vest.”
I don’t know if it was an accident, or if she was trying to get away,” he continued.”
It was a pretty strong shot.
“I’ve never heard anything like that before, and it’s a pretty difficult shot to hit someone in the face with, particularly if you’re wearing a mask.”
He testified the officer was on foot, and the witness was “quite quiet” as the shooting took place.
“When he fired, the impact on the back was not as forceful as I’d expect,” he admitted.
“My reaction was just shock, shock, and shock.
He said it would have been “almost impossible” to fire a shot from a firearm.”
As I saw her body, I thought it was very, very lucky.
“Detective Sergeant Stewart said there was “no doubt” the officer fired at least five shots.”
A round would have come through her torso,” he was quoted as saying.”
But I’m not sure that it would’ve hit her head, and that’s the issue, because that’s where she went in the vehicle.
“He admitted the officer could have been injured if he had been wearing a bullet-proof vest.
Det Sgt Stewart said the officer did not have a history of mental health problems, and he had told the family they were not in danger.”
They have a good relationship with me, I was a police officer in my youth,” he reportedly said.
Ms Hogg’s daughter said she did not want to be interviewed.
Det Insp Stewart told Ms Houghs family that the incident had been covered by “news coverage and media reports” in Australia.”
Obviously we would have liked to be able to talk to her, and I know we would,” he claimed.”
However, we will have to wait for the inquest to take place.
“The Independent Commission Against Corruption has investigated the incident.
Topics:law-crime-and-justice,law-enforcement,law—courts-and/or-administration,crime,sarah-hill,australiaFirst posted February 15, 2020 18:47:38Contact Sophie LewisMore stories from New South Wales