A jail officer has been charged with manslaughter after an Indigenous inmate was shot dead while trying to escape from a northern NSW hospital.
Dwayne Johnstone, a Wiradjuri man, was fatally injured when he was shot at Lismore Base Hospital on March 15, 2019.
Police say the 43-year-old was attempting to escape the facility, where he had been taken for medical treatment after earlier being remanded in custody on assault charges.
Mr Johnstone was handcuffed and shackled when he allegedly elbowed a Corrective Services officer and ran off outside the hospital.
An inquest in October 2020 heard Mr Johnstone was able to run quickly despite having his wrists and ankles shackled. The incident was caught on CCTV from a distance.
A warning shot was fired before the prison officer allegedly fatally shot Mr Johnstone.
A 57-year-old Corrective Services officer was on Friday charged with manslaughter and will face Lismore Local Court on March 29.
Mr Johnstone's family welcomed the charges in a statement on Friday, saying the many people who loved him are pleased to see some accountability for his death.
"We will forever remember Dwayne as a funny, bubbly rascal who was a family man at heart.
"Anyone who met Dwayne would never forget him.
"He was always happy and shared that joy with others.
"We are doing our best to hold onto that joy every day."
Karly Warner, chief executive of the Aboriginal Legal Service in NSW and the ACT, said it was historic news.
"More than 430 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have died in custody since the Royal Commission almost 30 years ago."
"This is an important step in the administration of justice."
Mr Johnstone had disclosed childhood sexual abuse at school and in state care to his parents and was participating in a civil claim against a boys' home at the time of his death, his inquest heard.