Man, 60, shot as neighbours row

By Kristin Edge

Northland police are investigating how a man suffered gunshot wounds thought to have been from a shotgun blast. Photo/File
Northland police are investigating how a man suffered gunshot wounds thought to have been from a shotgun blast. Photo/File

A dispute between neighbours has resulted in a 60-year-old Northland man suffering gunshot wounds.

After a major armed police callout Kaitaia officers yesterday arrested a 21-year-old Coopers Beach man.

He was in custody overnight and due to appear in court, with bail opposed, today on charges stemming from the incident.

Kaitaia police had converged on a rural home near Mangonui following reports of a shooting just before midday on Saturday.

Detective Sergeant Trevor Beatson said the Northland District Armed Offenders Squad, and other armed local officers went to the property in Kohumaru Rd and the surrounding area.

Officers found a 60-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds about his upper body, back, neck and leg, from what police believed to have been shots fired from a shotgun.

"The man was subsequently transported from his home by ambulance to be heli-med evacuated to the Whangarei Hospital for treatment."

Mr Beatson said the man's injuries were described as serious, but not life threatening.

It was possible that if he continued to improve he could have been discharged from hospital late yesterday.

The shooting was believed to have stemmed from a neighbours' dispute.

Late on Saturday night members of the AOS and other police staff searched several properties looking for people involved in the violence.

While the searches had not located anyone of interest, police said they did not believe those involved in the incident posed a risk to the wider community.

Police had asked the public for help to find a dark-coloured, possibly black, 1991 Toyota Hilux Surf four-wheel-drive vehicle, believed to have been involved in the incident.

Police were also wanting to speak with Richard John Drake, 21, from the Mangonui area, to assist them with their investigation.

A resident living close to where the shooting took place said she heard the shots fired and had thought nothing much of it.

However, when she noticed the rescue helicopter flying over a short time later she had realised the situation might be more serious.

"Another neighbour rang me last night and told me what happened.

"Everyone around here knows both parties," she said.

The injured man is to due have his birthday in the next few days and he has lived on the lifestyle block with his wife for more than 20 years.

The area has several beef farms and stands of native forest.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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