As tragic as this story is, I knew on the day that this is what must of happened by the police reaction and lack of charges, a real sad way to go and tough for the other officer involved, but what a remarkable family Bill Crews has.They showed up at the wake to support him and others who were at the scene, and told them the family did not hold them responsible for his death…
A post mortem has confirmed the police department’s worst fears.
It was one of his colleagues who accidentally killed Constable Bill Crews in a shootout in an underground car park last Wednesday night.
It was Sergeant Dave Roberts, the senior officer leading the raid on the Bankstown apartment, who fired the fatal shot.
Police had gone to the Cairds Avenue home with a search warrant entitling them to search for drugs at the unit of Philip Nyugen.
However, Nyugen, who had taken what is believed to be the drug ice, was worried that rival dealers were after him and was already armed when police arrived.
When a group of officers went to the underground car park, Nyugen allegedly fired a shot which hit Constable Crews in the arm.
The 26-year-old trainee detective went down, clutching his arm. But as he regained his footing and stood up, Sergeant Roberts fired at Nyugen.
Tragically, his bullet struck his colleague in the head.
A police source said that Sergeant Roberts was inconsolable in the aftermath of the shootout in the underground car park.
“He had a hunch that it was his bullet which had killed Crews,” the source said.
The sergeant was so upset he had to be sedated the following day.
“He is shattered,” said a senior officer.
“I don’t know if he will ever get over this.”
His colleague said that Sergeant Roberts has an impeccable record and “is the best worker on the floor”.
Now, the family of Constable William “Bill” Crews has demonstrated the same extraordinary bravery their son and brother possessed – publicly embracing the officer who fatally shot him.
Constable Crews’ family met the officer at a wake for the slain policeman on Sunday and assured him they did not blame him for the death.
“Bill was brave and resilient. He would want us to show the same courage as we deal with our personal tragedy and face a new day,” his brother Ben told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.
Today, police will announce the findings of their investigation into the fatal shooting of Constable Crews.
Although it was a bullet allegedly fired by charged man Philip Nguyen that struck him first in the arm, the officer was accidentally – and fatally – hit in the neck by a bullet fired by a police colleague
It is understood that, pending coronial findings, the initial investigation found the officer was not negligent due to the circumstances of the gunfight in narrow confines.
Constable Crews’ family has been informed of the outcome. They offered the policeman a public show of support at Constable Crews’ wake at Penrith Golf and Recreation Club on Sunday.
The police officer, who is said to be distraught over the events in the underground carpark of a Bankstown unit block last Wednesday night, also met privately with Constable Crews’ family.
Members of the Crews family made a statement in front of all those officers at the wake that demonstrated the special solidarity of the NSW Police family. Constable Crews’ policeman brother Ben, retired policeman father Kel, mother Sharon and sisters Rebecca and Kate embraced the officer.
Ben and Kel Crews then spoke about who they held responsible for the death.
“They stated the only person they hold to account in any way is the crook,” a guest said. “The family have been very gracious and accepting, and they’ve met everyone involved.
“The family have been showing unbelievable strength of character.”
With great pride, the Crews family yesterday told The Daily Telegraph Constable Crews made their lives so much richer.
“He has been a wonderful son and brother and of course a great friend and colleague to others,” his father said.
As the family bands together to prepare for Constable Crews’ funeral on Thursday, it was revealed yesterday his brother, a constable in south-west Sydney, is expected to join the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad, the team Constable Crews joined just weeks before his death.
The family yesterday thanked their friends, the police family, media and people across NSW who had “opened their hearts to us”.