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Jerrim Toms

Jerrim Toms was a 29-year-old working as a mechanic apprentice. Toms was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had a history of mental unwellness. Joan, Toms’ mother, had called police asking for a welfare check on her 29-year-old son, after he kicked her out of the house. “He’s kicked me out of the house. He’s threatening to burn it down,” she told Sharyn, the 111 operator. Toms had only recently been discharged from mental health care. He was either having another episode or hadn’t recovered from the last one.

But when police arrived at the Toms’ family home, Jerrim wasn’t there and neither was his white Subaru Legacy. A mentally unwell man with a knife was on the move, but police weren’t overly concerned. An officer phoned Joan, who had gone to her daughter Natasha’s house, to tell her his plan. She was to stay at Natasha’s, come back to the house the next morning and ring the police if she saw her son. The officer entered the code “K1” on his mobility device, which removed the event from the police alert system.

Two officers, later codenamed Constable A and Constable B, confronted Toms on the highway, however, they didn’t know about his mum’s emergency call or his mental health history. They just knew he was a man on the run and has been pursued by police for 40 minutes. Toms’ car had been hit by police road spikes three times and had lost three tires.

When Toms left his car, he approached the two officers with the knife in his hand. Once Toms was two meters from the officers, they fired four shots with two hitting Toms’ chest. “Toms’ made a loud and high pitched scream of physical pain and began running away.” The two police officers proceeded to shoot Toms eight more times while he was running away. The final shot was fired when Toms was unarmed and 14 meters away from police.

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