Police cleared in shooting deaths of two men on the coast
THE justified shooting deaths of two men on the Sunshine Coast will help shine a light on how Queensland Police deals with the use of lethal force in the future.
That was the verdict of Police Commissioner Ian Stewart shortly after State Coroner Terry Ryan delivered his findings on Monday into the killings of Edward Wayne Logan in Tewantin in 2014 and Anthony William Young in Coolum in 2013.
"The reality of the complexity of using lethal force is quite significant and I'm hoping these inquiries will shine some light on issues like that," Mr Stewart said.
There were no family members in the Brisbane courtroom where Mr Ryan said the three officers responsible for shooting Logan and Young were fighting for their lives when they pulled their triggers.
Mr Ryan said he agreed with internal police investigations that found both men intended killing or seriously maiming the officers who shot them.
Mr Ryan said 42-year-old Young was experiencing mental health problems when he stabbed his brother David and David's partner Louise Dekens to death on August 21, 2013.
He then rushed at Senior Constable Evan Condon while waving a machete aggressively.
Mr Ryan said Mr Young was less than two metres from Senior Constable Condon when he ordered Young - three times - to drop the knife.
Constable Condon "acted on instinct" and fired his weapon. Young died in Nambour hospital the next day.
Mr Ryan said Senior Constable Condon had no choice but to shoot.
"I consider that if Anthony Young had not been shot by Senior Constable Condon he would have proceeded to attack him with the machete and knife," the coroner said.
In delivering his findings into the death of 50-year-old Melbourne resident Edward Logan, Mr Ryan said Senior Constable Adam Tickner and first-year Constable Jamieson Wood were forced to open fire when Logan charged at them with a steel pole.
The shooting marked the tragic end to Logan's violent rampage in a Tewantin street following an argument at his son's home on November 23.
When police arrived at the house, officers found Logan smashing property with a pole that had a jagged end where it was torn from a mail box.
Video collected from a police body camera showed Logan holding the pole at chest height as he rushed toward Senior Constable Tickner and Constable Wood.
The pair fired three shots at Mr Logan, who died in the street about 24 minutes later.
"The police officers reasonably feared that Mr Logan would kill them or cause them grievous bodily harm," Mr Ryan said
"I accept that if police had not shot Mr Logan he would have proceeded to attack Constable Wood and Senior Constable Tickner with the metal pole, and would have caused their deaths or inflicted grievous bodily harm."
Mr Ryan said he would deliver his findings into how police shootings could be avoided in early 2016.
Mr Stewart said he hoped the final coronial outcome would reassure the community that police were doing the right thing.
"An independent person like the State Coroner will give some confidence to the community about the policies that our people adhere to," he said.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said he was pleased with the outcomes of the inquest.
"I attended both these incidents at the time to support the police involved," he said.
"Police never want to use their firearms so I am pleased that the police response in these two matters was justified.
"Police use of force is often a complex matter to analyse, however in these matters I know police did the right thing and I am glad Coroner Ryan agreed."
Police Minister Bill Byrne did not comment on the Coroner's findings.
Shadow police minister Jarrod Bleijie welcomed the findings, saying they "are a reminder of the grave risks our men and women in blue face each day".
August 21, 2013: Anthony William Young murders his brother David and David's partner Louise Dekens at their Coolum home before rushing at Senior Constable Evan Condon. The police officer shoots him.
August 22, 2013: Young dies of gunshot wounds in Nambour hospital.
November 23, 2014: Edward Wayne Logan tries to hit Senior Constable Adam Tickner and Constable Jamieson Wood with a steel pole in Tewantin. He dies shortly after the officers shoot him.
December 12, 2015: Queensland Coroner Terry Ryan finds the police were saving themselves when they shot the men.
Early 2016: Mr Ryan is expected to hand down his findings in relation to police shootings across the state.