Northern Ireland

Steven Colwell Inquest: Wounded man asked: 'Am I dead?'

The BMW Steven Colwell was driving surrounded by police
Image caption Mr Colwell was driving a stolen car when he was shot in Ballynahinch

A man who was shot by police in 2006 asked if he was dead as he got out of a stolen car, an inquest has heard.

Steven Colwell, 23, originally from the Shankill area of Belfast, was shot dead by police on 16 April 2006.

He failed to stop at a checkpoint in Ballynahinch, County Down.

Four young men and two young women were in the silver BMW, which had been stolen earlier that morning during a burglary in Downpatrick.

The inquest opened last September, but was later adjourned.

At its resumption in Belfast on Monday, those present heard tape recordings of Police Ombudsman interviews with Officer O, who fired two shots at the car.

One interview took place on 28 April 2016, 12 days after the death of Mr Colwell.

In this interview, the inquest heard Officer O describe what happened in Ballynahinch that morning as "crazy" and "wild" driving.

The officer said he aimed his weapon and shouted a warning to stop so loudly that he could not speak the following day.

As Mr Colwell got out of the car, wounded, he asked: "Am I dead?"

Image caption The BMW was stolen in Downpatrick earlier that morning.

The inquest also heard another recording of an Officer O interview with the Police Ombudsman that took place four months after the shooting.

After repeatedly telling the interviewer that his medical treatment made it difficult for him to recall details of the incident, Officer O is heard disputing the apparent reconstruction trajectory of his second bullet into the stolen car.

Officer O objected to the inference that he had fired through the side window.

Afterwards, he refused to answer more questions and left the interview.

Mr Colwell's death was originally investigated by the Police Ombudsman, who found the actions of the officer who shot Mr Colwell were "critically flawed".

This finding was rejected by the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI).

The inquest is continuing.

More on this story