Man shot by cops failed to heed warnings, inquest told

A gun-wielding man who wanted police to shoot him was fatally wounded within seconds of being told to drop his weapon, an inquest has been told.

Corey Selby was pointing a firearm at officers when they shot him outside Tenterfield Police Station on January 19, 2023.

The 48-year-old was at home in the northern NSW town earlier that day when he called triple zero to warn police his wife and children were in danger, adding he was going to kill them as he urged officers to arrive quickly.

His wife, Cindy, said it was Mr Selby's intention to be shot and he had told her to take the kids and leave because he "did not want to live anymore", Deputy State Coroner Carmel Forbes heard.

He had planned to show police his rifle on their arrival and "get them to shoot him", counsel assisting Jake Harris said, but no officers arrived.

Mr Selby then made his way to Tenterfield Police Station and aimed his firearm at officers, unaware his family had been instructed by police to head to the station for safety.

Senior Constable Craig Jackman was one of the two highway-patrol officers who arrived to witness an apparent stand-off between Mr Selby and police who were already on-site, he told the inquest in Armidale on Wednesday.

He said he heard other officers yelling at Mr Selby to drop his firearm as he was getting out of his police car.

"Within less than two seconds, shots were fired," Sen Const Jackman said.

Mr Selby had continued holding his weapon and walking towards officers before police fired, he said.

Sen Const Jackman said he ducked when he saw guns drawn and heard shots fired and by the time he got back up the man was lying on the ground.

Mr Selby's family were in a car at the police station at the time and witnessed the shooting.

Sen Const Jackman said the death was a sad outcome, but police "did the best we could with what we had".

Staff shortages at the Tenterfield station formed a key part of Mr Harris's questioning.

Senior Constable Jacqueline Butler had been stationed on general-inquiry duties when she answered Mr Selby's call at Armidale Police Station that day.

Unanswered calls at Tenterfield were routed there as it was a 24-hour station, the inquest was told.

Mr Selby seemed alright at the beginning of the call, but he had suddenly grown "angry and irate" and accused her of not listening before hanging up," Sen Const Butler said.

The inquest continues.

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