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Carlisle police shooting inquest: officer who shot Brendan Lindsay says he would do it again

ONE of the police officers who shot hostage taker Brendan Lindsay outside a Carlisle lunch bar says he would do the same thing if he was confronted with the same situation today.

Tom Gryta was one of four officers who shot Mr Lindsay after the 38-year-old took deli worker Sheila Tran hostage and held a big kitchen knife to her throat in November 2014.

Mr Lindsay, who had long battled drug addiction, died at the scene after four officers shot him between nine and 11 times over a nine-second period.

Constable Gryta was the first police officer at the scene but was joined by seven more officers after he called for urgent back-up.

He tried to negotiate with Mr Lindsay but fired two shots when he saw what he thought was the hostage taker stabbing Ms Tran.

During emotional testimony in the Coroner’s Court on Tuesday Const Gryta said he had thought about what he could have done differently “1000 times” over the past four years.

A screen grab of footage showing Brendan Lindsay taking Sheila Tran hostage.A screen grab of footage showing Brendan Lindsay taking Sheila Tran hostage.
Camera IconA screen grab of footage showing Brendan Lindsay taking Sheila Tran hostage.Picture: 9 News Perth

He told the inquest he could not identify anything he would have done differently, but said it was hard to articulate given the outcome of the siege.

“I guess if I was confronted with the same situation today I would do the same thing,” he said.

Const Gryta said from the moment he saw Mr Lindsay pick up a knife and make a beeline for Ms Tran in the deli, he thought her life was in danger.

He said his firearm was “the only real option” because if an attempt at non-lethal force failed things would escalate tenfold.

“Mr Lindsay had a knife immediately to a hostage,” he said.

“He was shouting that he was going to kill her,” he said.

Const Gryta was embraced by Mr Lindsay’s father John when he finished giving evidence.

State Coroner Ros Fogliani is examining the way police dealt with the hostage situation and the reason the four officers decided to open fire.

Thirteen shots were fired by police and two bullets hit Ms Tran, shattering bones in her shoulder and cutting an artery in her leg.

Const. Gryta gave evidence he was arrested after the incident and was told it was on either a charge of murder or doing grievous bodily harm.

He said he was eventually unarrested and was told the same thing would not happen again after future critical incidents.

“I was advised that it was the wrong decision for that to have occurred,” he said.

The inquest continues.

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