Gunman Opens Fire in McDonald’s, Gun Discharged During Petrol Station Robbery. Is Gun Crime out of Control in NZ?

McDonald's fatal shooting in NZ

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 :


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.

3 thoughts on “Gunman Opens Fire in McDonald’s, Gun Discharged During Petrol Station Robbery. Is Gun Crime out of Control in NZ?

  1. I find it interesting that gun crime is most often associated with the US by kiwis. They seem to be willing to turn a blind eye to issues at home if they can point to [what they perceive] worse things. Bad things happen all over, including in NZ. The myth that NZ is exempt from these sorts of problems is just that, a myth. Maybe the polices’ handling of these issues is such because they do not think that these things happen often enough to make them a priority or they hope that they will just go away after they get swept under the rug.

  2. Upper Hutt shooting: Woman tried to ‘talk down’ gunman before he was shot dead by police

    ‘The woman, who does voluntary rehab work with prison services, was in the street with the man, Mr Loveday said.

    “He had a rifle in his hand. He kept going forward and back.

    “She was trying to talk him down. She said she had a good liaison with him. He was going to put the rifle down. She was only a metre away when he was shot dead.

    “She was pretty adamant he was going to give himself up. She didn’t know him. She said he told her he was trying to get into the army and was rejected because of his police record.”

    Witness Ugur Kokcu saw the woman talk to the gunman for a couple of minutes.

    The gunman was animated at times. The rifle was mostly by his side but when he raised it slightly, he was shot twice by police, Mr Kokcu said.

    Subway worker Nikki Hearfield said the gunman looked like he was in his late 20s.

    “He wasn’t holding the gun aggressively. It was just in his hand to the side.”‘

    One does wonder how well the Upper Hutt event was handled.

    • Heard on the radio that there would be 3 inquiries into the Upper Hutt shooting – haven’t seen anything yet on the local news sites to confirm

      Meanwhile, the Police Association’s take on the voodoo statistics for crime.

      .O’Connor [Police Assoc]: ‘Of course’ violence is up, despite statistics

      Yesterday’s incident in Upper Hutt was the third time police have fatally shot an armed suspect this year, the 30th in the force’s history and the 11th since 2007.
      “This belies the figures that are being spouted that [New Zealand is] a safer place,” says Mr O’Connor. “Violence of course has not gone down.”

      But according to Statistics New Zealand, the number of offences recorded in 1994 was 447,525; in 2014 it was 350,389, despite a population increase of nearly 1 million.’

      ‘What’s changed in recent years, according to Mr O’Connor, is that more offenders seem to have access to firearms.
      “It’s incredibly easy to get hold of a firearm in New Zealand. Over 200,000 were imported between 2000 and 2009,” he says.’

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