Ronkswood Police shooting – West Mercia accepts liability in High Court

INJURED father accidentally shot by armed officer set to receive big compensation after police admit responsibility.

Aaron Humphries was shot in the leg by an armed officer in Ronkswood Hill, Worcester after West Mercia Police received reports he had a gun.

After a successful civil case in the High Court, his solicitor, Iain Gould, says his client is likely to receive significant compensation.

READ MORE: Aaron Humphries receives suspended prison sentence

READ MORE: Aaron Humphries describes being shot by police

Humphries, 32, from Birmingham, admitted to possessing a fake firearm in a separate offense (criminal damage to his ex-partner’s home in Dines Green) on the day he was shot – Saturday October 2 in Last year.

He further admitted on the same date to criminal damage – destruction of property without lawful excuse – including windows, a door and a doorbell belonging to Platform Housing.

Humphries was previously convicted of producing cannabis at a business unit in Worcester (a tanning salon in Dines Green).

SHOOTING: Aaron Humphries. Image taken from cellphone footage of the accidental shooting

His solicitor Iain Gould, who specializes in police compensation claims, took the case to the High Court after the shooting.

Due to his injuries, Mr. Humphries can no longer work as a civil engineer. The lawyer described the consequences of his client’s ‘horrible injury’ as ‘likely to last a lifetime’.

West Mercia Police have confirmed that they have admitted liability for assault and battery in ongoing civil proceedings.

But Mr Gould said West Mercia had previously ‘exonerated’ himself for his role in the shooting.

A member of the public reported to Mr. Humphries that he had what he believed to be a firearm in his vehicle. Later it turned out to be a ‘BB’ gun.

Mr Gould said: “Aaron, who had fallen asleep in his car, awoke to the sound of screaming and found his vehicle surrounded by police officers pointing their guns at him.

“In shock, and following orders from the Firearms Squad, Aaron got out of his vehicle and stood near the open driver’s door. He was not holding anything in his hands, a fact that was clearly visible to the police.

“One of the officers approached Aaron in handcuffs, while another approached with a taser; Aaron ‘red dot’ with the least lethal weapon.

“Aaron remained totally docile. Then, without warning, he was shot by one of the officers (identified as Officer B) with his rifle, a deadly weapon.

“The bullet from Agent B’s rifle pierced Aaron’s open car door, struck Aaron’s left knee, then tore his right leg, creating entry and exit wounds. Aaron fell to the ground, bleeding and in excruciating pain, before being rushed to hospital by ambulance for emergency surgery.

“After the incident, Officer B was interviewed by the IOPC (Independent Office of Police Conduct). Her account of the events was that she had accidentally fired her rifle while holding a large, heavy shield in her hand left and trying to apply the safety catch with his right hand. Indeed, body-worn video records the officer shouting “Sorry, sorry!” immediately after his weapon was unloaded.

Given the seriousness of this “involuntary discharge”, the IOPC Fund determined that Agent B had a case to answer for misconduct. However, the West Mercia Police Misconduct Board concluded that the officer’s conduct did not breach professional behavior standards. Deputy Chief of Police Julian Moss initially said there was “no wrongdoing”, although Constable B’s firearms clearance was revoked”.

Mr Gould added: “It was pure luck that the ‘rogue bullet’ did not kill Aaron – or indeed one of the officer’s colleagues or even an innocent bystander.

“However, I am happy to confirm that there will certainly be institutional responsibility for what happened to Aaron, as I have applied the full force of civil law against West Mercia Police in the form of proceedings before the High Court, in which they have now admitted full liability for assault and battery Aaron will in due course receive substantial compensation – although he would give up anything to change the trajectory of this ball to one harmless .

In January, Judge Martin Jackson sentenced Humphries to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, and placed him under the supervision of the probation service, ordering him to perform 30 days of compulsory rehabilitative activity.

He was also ordered to pay Platform Housing £1,400 in compensation for the damage.

A West Mercia Police spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have received a civil action and that legal proceedings are currently underway regarding this claim. West Mercia Police have admitted liability for assault and battery. injuries in connection with these civil legal proceedings, which are ongoing.”