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Newcastle Woman’s Death Attributed to Bean Bag Round

Kach’s death is suspected to mark the first fatality in New South Wales from a bean bag round

The cause of death of a New South Wales woman, 47-year-old Krista Kach, who died after being tasered and bean bagged following a nine-hour standoff with police, has been revealed.

She passed away after being struck in the chest by a beanbag round during an attempted arrest, as it penetrated her chest and hit her heart.

An interim report from the NSW coroner stated that the official cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the chest.

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In response, the NSW Police have decided to temporarily suspend the use of this typically non-lethal weapon while they initiate a comprehensive review.

Ms. Kach’s death is suspected to mark the first fatality in New South Wales resulting from a bean bag incident.

Police Statement Regarding Death

Acting Commissioner David Hudson on Sept. 19 stated that the cause of her demise was “a gunshot wound to the chest” emphasising that it was not intended to result in a fatality for the individual.

“It would appear that the bean-bag round … has entered the body of the deceased and ended up striking her heart, causing her death,” he said.

“It was not intended to be a fatal outcome for the person who was subject of that siege that had been going on for several hours.

“It was a less than lethal option that was taken and unfortunately on this occasion, as it has done around the world on very few occasions, has resulted in a death.”

He also acknowledged that in cases involving mental health issues, appearing in uniform can sometimes exacerbate a situation instead of calming it.

He further stated that the police force is currently conducting a comprehensive review of their participation in mental health-related incidents.

He noted that NSW police were called to respond to 64,000 mental health incidents the previous year and admitted that, in many of these cases, their involvement may not have been necessary.

NSW Premier Chris Minns admitted problems in recruitment, including at social and mental health service providers, were putting more pressure on police.

The Incident

The incident began on Sept. 14 around 12:30 p.m. in Stockton, a suburb of Newcastle in New South Wales. Police responded to a distress call reporting a woman wielding an axe and making threats against others at a unit complex.

Upon arrival, the 47-year-old woman allegedly confronted officers and barricaded herself inside the premises. After several hours, specialised tactical officers and negotiators managed to gain entry at approximately 9:45 p.m.

Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna reported that tactical police used a bean bag round followed by a taser deployment before her arrest.

Paramedics promptly provided medical care, but her condition deteriorated, necessitating her transfer to John Hunter Hospital, where she regrettably passed away.

Bean Bag Rounds

The NSW Police Tactical Operations Group has responded to and successfully resolved 182 high-risk incidents this year. Bean bag rounds were deployed on 15 occasions, with none being fatal.

Bean bag rounds are deployed when an individual poses a risk to themselves or others but doesn’t present an immediate threat that warrants the use of lethal force.

They are typically used in cases involving a person who is suicidal while holding a bladed weapon, or in Ms. Kach’s case an axe. The purpose of these rounds is to incapacitate the individual without causing lethal harm.

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