(Welcome UK Readers. This blog about tasers has nearly 2000 posts on the subject of tasers, and the many false claims made by Taser International. Canada has been slowly dismantling the "tasers-R-safe" and "taser are effective" claims that have resulted in over-reliance on tasers, and huge problems including unnecessary death.)
UPDATE 1: See The Telegraph (UK) [LINK]. Everything being reported most-easily explained by my hypothesis of how it unfolded. But others are apparently unwilling to make the logical and obvious leap to map it out as I've described. Mark my words and we'll see...
UPDATE 2 - Two, not one, tasers were fired and yet he still managed to use his shotgun to kill himself. [LINK] Time to review the promises-to-truth ratio of Taser marketing.
Another [DOUBLE] entry for the Taser International FAIL-blog.
Sky News - Police have confirmed they shot Raoul Moat, 37, with a taser stun gun (UPDATE: XREP [LINK], twice) during last night's stand-off with Britain's most wanted man. [LINK] [ALSO]
News reports indicate that Moat killed himself with a shotgun.
So assuming that the police didn't fire the taser at Moat after he was already dead, then is it reasonable to assume that the police attempted to use the taser but it was, apparently, ineffective (twice)?
Furthermore, is it reasonable to assume that the attempt to use the ineffective taser might have actually prompted Moat into ending the standoff by killing himself?
The above sequence seems to be the simplest explanation that matches the reported facts.
(Others have pointed out the possibility of involuntary taser-caused muscle reactions pulling the trigger. That's certainly possible, but perhaps less likely.
UPDATE 3: Or is it? [LINK])
If so, then from a 'Taser-Use Policy' point of view, these news reports indicate a massive FAIL for depending on the unpredictable taser given such circumstances.
To be clear, I'm not overly-disturbed by Moat ending his own life - tragic, but he was the author of his own destiny; plus-or-minus other factors... ("steroid addict" [LINK]).
But it is EXTREMELY important to mark down a massive Taser-Use Policy "FAIL" if the use of the taser was, 1) ineffective (twice?), and 2) led directly to, or even allowed, gunfire.
Police weapons that are so consistently unreliable (some reports have the rate of ineffectivity as high as 30%) are dangerous in so many ways, to everyone in the vicinity.
Remember: Taser International claims that tasers are ...safe and effective.... I bet that they won't be issuing a glowing press release about how their product didn't accomplish anything as promised by the marketing.
And WTF is this? [Star]