“A Hawkes Bay man told last night of his desperate bid to stop his best mate from getting involved in an armed confrontation that left a neighbour dead and the victim’s 8-year-old son injured….
Late last night, armed police arrested Wilson Apatu, 39, whom they had been hunting since the killing about 2.30pm in the settlement of Waikoau, near Tutira on the Napier-to-Wairoa road….”
The dead man was later named as Layden Thomas Rameka, 32 from Waikoau. His young son Zepplen-Solly Rameka was shot in the arm and is said to be in a comfortable condition in Hawke’s Bay Hospital.
“An anonymous resident told Radio New Zealand he had spoken to Apatu minutes before the shooting.
“He got called [expletive] and he went ‘bro, I can’t handle this’, I went `what are you on about?’. So he hung up the phone. “So I rung the people (the victim’s neighbours) and warned them, says ‘lock your f***ing doors, get your kids, get everybody inside’ and they thought I was joking, they didn’t heed my warning.”
The resident said he held the victim’s hand as he died.
It was reported that Mr Rameka was a patched Mongrel Mob member who had recently moved back to the area.”
“Apatu fled the scene in his own vehicle before crashing it.
Waikoau Road farmer Rex Bullock was outside his home when the car crashed and had expected its occupant to be dead.
“He flipped the car over…and squashed the roof, almost to the top of the seat,” he told Radio New Zealand.
“When I went out to see if there was a dead body in it or not he was climbing out the other side, standing up [with] a cut on the top of his head.”
Apatu then allegedly held up a couple at gunpoint and stole their vehicle. The couple were unharmed.
A source told NZPA that Apatu had had his firearms license revoked and had told people he wanted to “go out in a hail of bullets”.
Apatu was arrested about 11.30pm at a relative’s house in Clive, 10km south of Napier, after the relative contacted police”
Mr Rameka’s death is thought to be the 49th violent death in New Zealand this year and the 8th murder this month. Gang related violence is not an ‘isolated incident’ in many locations in New Zealand. For more on Hawke’s Bay’s gang problems see:
‘Horror as gang man attacked’ July 09
‘Two men found guilty of gang pad attack’ July 09
‘Two bashed in gang turf clash’ June 09
‘Mayors play down gang problem after brawls’ Feb 09
‘Gang violence out of control in New Zealand – Police say only luck preventing multiple homicides’ June 08
‘Prison brawl adds to gang tensions’ June 08