Topic: Crime

UPDATE: Kawerau shooting investigation continues

By Te Ao Māori News
  • North Island: East Coast

The police investigation into the fatal shooting in Kawerau yesterday continues today with police appealing for witnesses to the incident.

Investigators believe there would have been a number of people travelling on the roads who would have seen the incident and may have dash cam footage from when they have driven past the incident as it unfolded.

In the initial call it was reported that a man was in possession of a firearm and had used it before fleeing from a Kawerau property in a vehicle.

When we arrived at the scene the offender had left the address. Further information was received to indicate the offender had been using methamphetamine.

Shortly later police received a report of an aggravated robbery at Kawerau First Credit Union where a firearm was presented where an amount of cash was taken. No-one was injured in the incident at the Credit Union.

A while later the car, believed to be that of the offender, was sighted on a rural road between Edgecumbe and Kawerau.

Lights and sirens were used to indicate for the vehicle to stop. However, according to police, the offender failed to stop and instead fled.

While fleeing the offender carried out a u-turn and drove at police vehicles, forcing police to take evasive action. 

At around 10.20am the offender stopped on SH30 by the Te Teko Racecourse.  Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) members approached the vehicle.  The offender presented a firearm at an AOS member and fired a shot and Police have returned fire.

Police staff on the scene have rendered first aid however the 29-year-old offender has died at the scene.

Superintendent Andy McGregor, District Commander, Bay of Plenty Police says, "A fatal shooting is an outcome nobody wants. Police staff go to work everyday to keep the community safe and no officer takes the decision to use a firearm lightly. It is the biggest decision they will make in their police careers and one that has a traumatic impact on them."

Investigators believe there would have been a number of people travelling on the roads who would have seen the incident and may have dash cam footage from when they have driven past the incident as it unfolded.

Police are liaising with the family of the deceased and Victim Support has been provided.

Anyone with information or footage is asked to contact Rotorua Police on 07 349 9400.

Information can also be shared anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.