A police officer who risked his life to stop the mosque shooter is suffering from memory impairment due to trauma.
Jim Manning, a rurally-based senior constable, was in Christchurch for a course when he joined up with Senior Constable Scott Carmody to help with the police response to the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15 last year.
The country cops shunted the suspect’s car on to the side of Brougham St and arrested him at gunpoint before he could carry on to a third target. By then he had fatally shot 51 people and injured 40. Manning and Carmody received several bravery awards.
Manning’s memory impairment was raised in a High Court civil case in February, in which gun lobbyist Richard Lincoln, who Manning arrested in September 2015 after reports Lincoln openly carried a rifle into a service station and public toilets, unsuccessfully claimed the arrest was unlawful.
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During cross-examination, it became clear Manning could not remember details about the incident without reference to documents.
He explained he had experienced memory impairment triggered by the traumatic events of March 15. The event and prior similar armed apprehensions had affected him significantly, he said.
Justice Churchman said he was satisfied that what might have been an “inexplicable inability” to recall some details of the event without referring to documents was “genuine and understandable”.
“I am satisfied Senior Constable Manning did his best to recall what happened and when he could not recall detail, he frankly acknowledged that… Overall, my assessment of [Manning] is that he was an honest witness who made appropriate concessions when he could not remember specific details.”
It was about 2pm on March 15 when the officers saw the alleged most shooter’s gold Subaru on Brougham St, driving erratically with its hazard lights on. At this time they had no idea how many gunmen there were, but were in the area because they believed there was a good chance the offender or offenders would have left the two mosques where, it would later emerge, 51 people had been fatally shot.
They managed to ram the car to the side of the road – 18 minutes after police received the first 111 call from the Al Noor Masjid on Deans Ave – and, ignoring the bombs in the back seat, dragged the alleged gunman through the passenger side of the car.