Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dumb NSW cops shoot the victim of a home invasion

''SHIT, I shot him.'' These are the words Justin McMaster's family claim they heard a police officer say after he fired his weapon at the 19-year-old standing just metres away.

Seconds before, the male officer's partner had lowered her Taser away from Mr McMaster's chest after his mother and sister had yelled out he was their son and brother, they said.

''I noticed her with the Taser and him with the gun and I said: 'He's my son','' Mr McMaster's mother, Georgia Karakizos, said. ''The Taser was on him for a little bit because I could see the red lights [reflected on his torso],'' his sister, Kayla McMaster, said.

The family is considering legal action against the NSW Police Force over last Monday's shooting, which they said occurred after three armed and violent robbers entered their yard and home in Colyton, western Sydney, assaulted Ms Karakizos and her partner, Paul Sciberras, and threatened to rape Kayla, 17.

Police say they are investigating all aspects of the home invasion, including all witnesses and all evidence.

''The police investigation into the home invasion is an active investigation and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further,'' a spokesman said last night.

Police initially said they arrived at the Holmes Street property following reports of an armed break-in, but later said they had been responding to concerns a woman was being threatened with a knife.

Mr McMaster, who remains in the surgical unit at Westmead Hospital recovering from the bullet wound in his abdomen, says he was carrying a length of metal from aluminium blinds to protect his sister, Kayla. He denies that he was ever carrying a knife.

Kayla told the Herald that following the assault of her mother and stepfather, one of the robbers put a knife to her throat and demanded she help find them money. She said he threatened the life of her 15-month-old brother, Dayne, if she tried to run away.

Shortly after, the intruder used the knife to force her to partly undress and said he would rape and stab her, Kayla said.

Her brother Justin ran out of the house to help her shortly after two police officers arrived outside the house and two of the robbers fled, she said.

''Justin ran out and he's screaming: 'Where's my sister? Where's my sister?,'' Kayla said. The female officer drew her Taser and the male his gun, she said.

While an internal police investigation is under way into the shooting of Mr McMaster, the family claims inquiries into the robbery, alleged assaults and threat of rape seem to have a lower priority. They said they have not been offered counselling or assistance, nor have they been updated on the investigation.

''They're saving their own arses,'' Kayla said. ''He [the police officer] gets counselling.''

The family's lawyer, Greg Walsh, said Kayla at least should have been taken to hospital. ''I'm shocked at the way these people have been treated,'' he said. ''It's a disgrace.''


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