OTSU, Shiga Pref. – The fatal shooting of a fleeing gangster by police Tuesday in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, is being reviewed in light of a recently revised law on gun and baton use, police sources said.
The incident marks the first time an on-duty police officer has shot a suspect to death since new rules on gun and baton use by police were enforced in December.
The National Police Agency revised the rules in November last year to stem the number police officers who were being killed in the line of duty, the sources said.
The revised rules govern when officers should fire warning shots and when shots can be fired without warning. They also list four stages of standards for gun and baton use.
In the case of fleeing vehicles, the rules caution against firing at their tires due to the low odds that suspects can be pinned down.
In cases of robbery, police are allowed to fire at vehicles without warning if the suspects fail to stop and pose a danger to those around them.
On Tuesday morning, a 48-year-old police sergeant fired a single shot at a suspicious-looking car that was being driven by a man and woman attempting to evade police questioning.
The fatal shot penetrated the car’s back window and hit gangster Tadahiro Nakagawa, 33, in the back of the head.
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