A NSW man had been high on cocaine and ice when police shot him dead a day after he had tied up and fatally stabbed the mother of his three-year-old daughter 16 times, an inquest has been told.
Tafari Walton, 22, was shot after telling police, “Come on, f***ing shoot me”, then charging with a knife towards a detective.
Two officers had each fired two shots during the confrontation with Walton at about 9am in the backyard of his mother’s house, west of Newcastle, in March 2019.
Jake Harris, counsel assisting State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan, told the Newcastle inquest into the deaths of Walton and his ex-partner, Gabriella Thompson, 27, that one officer had earlier tried to use capsicum spray on Walton with no effect.
He was shot once in the head and once in the chest by the officers standing one to two metres away. The other two bullets fired missed Walton.
Walton had been on the run since fatally stabbing Ms Thompson at her Glendale home on March 13, 2019.
Mr Harris said Walton had been in a toxic relationship with Ms Thompson since 2014 involving prolonged domestic violence because of his intense jealousy and controlling behaviour, and he had regularly threatened to kill her.
He said Walton’s mother claimed Ms Thompson had been psychologically abusive towards Walton, often demeaning him.
There was one incident when Walton was in jail and called Ms Thompson in April 2016 to tell her his mother was going to pick him up when he was released.
The taped phone call revealed Walton became angry when Ms Thompson accused him of being “mummy’s little boy”, and he threatened to kill her and her family and would cut her tongue out.
On the day Ms Thompson was killed, Walton, who had been released on parole seven weeks earlier and given strict conditional bail after being charged with stabbing another inmate at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre, told a friend he was never going back to jail and would kill himself if he ever faced being imprisoned again.
It was 11.02am when Walton’s mother and stepfather arrived at Ms Thompson’s home planning to help repair a hole in the wall caused by Walton a few days earlier.
Mr Harris said the couple parked in the driveway and had Walton and Ms Thompson’s three-year-old daughter in the car as well as Walton’s brother’s son.
When Ms Thompson called out for help, the stepfather walked into the house and saw she had blood on her face and rope around her ankles.
The stepfather struggled with Walton who had a “vacant look” on his face before he broke free and began choking Ms Thompson.
Fearing Walton had a weapon, the stepfather stepped outside to get his mother to try to calm him down but she had left with the children.
He called Walton’s mother and she told him to call the police.
As the stepfather went back to the house, Walton walked out and told him “she thinks she’s dying”, before driving off.
The stepfather saw Ms Thompson was holding her neck and there was a lot of blood.
He put a towel around her neck before she was taken to John Hunter Hospital and pronounced dead at 12.39pm.
She had suffered 16 stab wounds, including a laceration to her throat.
The inquest continues.
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