A SECOND officer shot in the face during a police operation has taken the stand as video of the crucial moments that led to the shooting were played in court.
Sergeant Mark Johnston was the most senior ranking officer on duty in Glen Innes on the night of the shooting on January 18, 2019.
He took the stand in Tamworth Coroner's Court on Tuesday on the second day of the inquest into the death of a man in his 70s, who died in the course of the police operation.
The court heard Sergeant Johnston - a 21-year veteran officer - spent three days in hospital after the shooting, and had 12 weeks off work.
The coroner was told Sergeant Johnston was struck by a bullet fragment to his face that hit his cheek and stopped, and "corkscrewed" in.
"It missed the major arteries in my face," he said. "A millimetre to the left, or a millimetre to the right I'd be dead."
The nature of the call-out, the location and much of the events surrounding the night cannot be reported for legal reasons.
The court heard evidence on what had transpired on the night captured from the video at the scene.
Deputy state coroner Elizabeth Ryan was told there was confusion with versions of events given at the scene, and what an informant and other witnesses including paramedics had seen or been told.
"I didn't hear that crucial part that he had the gun at that part," Sergeant Johnston told the court.
"I missed it, I missed that he had the firearm."
The body worn camera captured the entire interaction police had at the scene after they were deployed about 10pm.
Sergeant Johnston said they had tried to identify if the suspect was still at the home, when they approached through the front gate.
"I honestly didn't hear on the night that he had the firearm," he told the inquest. He said he didn't deny that the suspect did have access to the gun because there were 13 registered to the property.
When asked why he didn't contact a high-ranking officer on police radio about the situation, Sergeant Johnston said he would "have to have a belief that the firearm is in play".
"I didn't know that at that point," he detailed to the court, adding they hadn't been able to make contact with the suspect on the phone, or confirm whether he had a firearm in his possession.
He said when he discovered the suspect had the gun, he called for Senior Constable Helen McMurtrie and Probationary Constable Samantha Petty to get back.
"I was trying to get the girls behind me," he said.
Senior Constable McMurtrie finished giving evidence on Tuesday. She was struck in the neck by the shot after it ricocheted off the ground, hitting both officers.
Ms Ryan thanked both Senior Constable McMurtrie and Sergeant Johnston for their evidence which she acknowledged reliving was "again, a very distressing day". The inquest continues on Wednesday.