A POLICEMAN who shot dead a man at a Perth house last year won’t be charged because there is no reasonable prospect of a conviction, the West Australian police commissioner says.
Ly Tong, 38, was shot three times “within seconds” when officers attended an alleged family violence incident at a Beechboro home on November 22.
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said officers had been told Mr Tong had breached a family violence restraining order, was armed with a knife or similar, and had threatened to kill his mother and attack police.
When two officers entered the house, they found the elderly woman and two small children “in a confined space”.
Mr Tong did not emerge from the bedroom voluntarily when police called out, but came out when the door was opened and was shot in what Mr Dawson described as a “split-second decision” by the officer.
Mr Tong died almost immediately.
He wasn’t holding a knife but had a small knife in his pocket and four other knives in the bedroom.
“Police concluded that there were no reasonable prospects of convicting the police officer for causing the death of this man,” Mr Dawson told reporters on Wednesday.
“I am satisfied that this has been a very thorough investigation into what is really a very tragic death.”
Mr Dawson said the officer had been involved in two separate situations in the past where he drew his firearm but did not fire the weapon.
The officer, who has served for about six years, was stood down following the fatal shooting but is now undergoing reassimilation.
“He’s experienced, he was accompanied by a sergeant who is very experienced,” Mr Dawson said.
“(They) did exactly what their training teaches them to do.”
The internal investigation was overseen by the Corruption and Crime Commission, and the Director of Public Prosecutions also agreed with the police conclusion.
A coronial inquest is still likely, Mr Dawson said.
He offered his condolences to Mr Tong’s family.
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