Family of 31-year-old Barry Junior Hunt are mourning his death following an altercation in Kawerau last night resulting in a 25-year-old appearing in the Whakatāne District Court this afternoon changed with his murder.
The altercation occurred between a small group of men who police say all knew each other. The younger brother of the victim has been charged with his murder.
31-year-old Barry Junior Hunt suffered a severe head injury, caused by an axe. He was taken to the Whakatāne Hospital in a critical condition where he later died in the early hours of this morning.
The victim's younger brother 25-year-old Cameron Hunt appeared in the Whakatāne District Court this afternoon.
The homicide investigation is underway in what was known as a neighbourhood watch street. Neighbours were being questioned today as police continued collecting evidence in and around the area.
Te Kāea spoke to a family member of the victim who said the family are in shock and grieving. But the news has come as a shock to the entire community and the wider members of the family are finding out the news through social media like Facebook.
The body has been taken to Auckland to the coroners and the family say they are unsure as to when he will be returned.
The matter is before the courts and Cameron Hunt remains in custody until he next appears in the Tauranga High Court on the July 22 charged with murder.