New Zealand’s growing reputation for violent crime took a turn for the worse today. Armed police shot dead a man who fired-off a high powered rifle at a McDonald’s restaurant in Upper Hutt, Wellington, at around 12.40pm.
Video taken by a bystander:
At a press conference outside the Upper Hutt police station Wellington District Commander Superintendent Sam Hoyle said the man had fired at least once inside McDonald’s before he was shot outside by frontline police officers, not Armed Offenders Squad members.
Police are keeping quiet about whether the armed man had a prior criminal history (but there are hints he was a gang member), or what caused him to take a weapon into the McDonald’s. Watch a short clip of the incident here : https://instagram.com/p/7WmN6FqpeU/
‘HE HAD A RIFLE’
Joanne Hyde, her mother and husband ran for it with their shopping trollies when they saw an “angry looking” man walking towards them with a rifle. “I thought, ‘this is life or death. I’m bloody running’.”
The family was in the mall across the road when she saw man walk out of McDonalds and shoot twice towards the drive-through entrance. He then walked back into McDonalds and pointed his rifle at terrified staff behind the counter, she said…
Hyde described the man as white, in his 20s, dressed in black with tattooed arms. He didn’t appear to speak during the “rampage” but had an “angry looking face”, she said…
Lilly Goose was at the City Stop across the road from McDonald’s when she heard a gunshot. She walked outside where a crowd had formed and saw a man inside holding a big gun. “The guy was in Maccas staring straight at me,” she said. “I was terrified, s…ing myself.”
The man was wearing a black hoodie, black jeans and boots, and brandishing a “big gun, like a hunting rifle”. He was about 20 years old and light-skinned, she said. “His hood was up and he had a beanie on under his hood. He kind of looked a bit mad,” she said. As Goose looked on in fear, the man proceeded to pour himself a drink.”We stayed watching him for a while walking around Maccas and he got himself a drink – he went and got a drink from the soda machine,” she said.
Claire Blakemore, who works at the Bentley & Sue Optometrists on Geange St, said she was in the supermarket when she heard gunshots.
“People were running down the street and told to take cover by police,” she said…source
Gun Fired During Petrol Station Robbery
Armed incidents have been occurring for many years in New Zealand but of late we’re hearing more and more reports about weapons being discharged in public places. These are a few of the worst examples that have caught the public’s attention (note: we don’t keep a list of every shooting or gunpoint robbery as they’re too frequent to keep track of).
6 Sept A man fired a gun during a robbery at an Auckland service station at 7.40pm on Sunday, he and his accomplice were dressed in black and made off with an amount of cash.
20 August: An armed man was shot in Motueka after police say he pointed a firearm at them.
19 August: A major police operation was launched in the North Island and schools placed in lockdown after a man shot at police. Police say the offender, Dolphy Kohu, had a “significant firearms history”
10 August: 30 year Faraniko Francis Pei took a shotgun and blasted-up two police stations in Palmerston North, narrowly missing a female employee.
2 August: A man wanted in connection with a string of armed robberies was shot dead by police in an Auckland park. At the time of his death, 21 year old David Cerven was said to be un-armed.
1 September 2014: Two government employees were shot dead and a third was seriously injured at Work and Income office in Ashburton. At the time it was called NZ’s equivalent of the Sydney siege, but it went largely unnoticed by the world’s media.
7 July 2013: Former solider, Caleb Henry, was killed in a gunfight with police on Auckland‘s Northern motorway. Henry was fleeing after carrying out a violent home invasion in Opotiki. Henry stabbed 63-year-old Ann and 66-year-old Allan Looney, before stealing their ute and a high-powered rifle.
8 July 2010 Farmer Scott Guy was shot in the throat on the driveway of his Feilding farm, police have yet to arrest his killer.
7 May 2009: Jan Molenaar shot and killed a police officer, and wounded other officers and a neighbour during what became to be known as the Napier Siege. Molenaar was shot dead by police.
23 January 2009: Courier driver Halatau Ki’anamanu Naitoko was shot dead by AOS police in another motorway shoot-out. He was an innocent passerby in the incident in which another driver, Richard Stephen and a fleeing offender, Stephen Hohepa McDonald were also shot and wounded.
It is estimated that there are approximately 1.1 million firearms in circulation in New Zealand.
For more about this rapidly escalating issue, click on any of the links at the bottom of this story.