Gun-shop attacker 'wanted to die' after break-up

By James Ihaka, Elizabeth Binning

The machete-wielding man who was shot while trying to rob an Auckland gunstore allegedly wanted to kill himself following a domestic dispute.

The Herald has been told Ricky James Beckham was in a "real state" after breaking up with his girlfriend last Wednesday night. The next morning he was shot in the stomach while trying to rob the Small Arms International gunstore.

In the Auckland District Court yesterday it emerged that Beckham told police he never wanted to hurt anyone but went to the store to get a gun to kill himself.

According to the police summary of facts read out in court, Beckham entered the Penrose store just before 10am last Thursday carrying a sports bag which contained a metre-long machete.

After pulling the machete from the bag he walked into an office area, raised his weapon at Greg Carvell and store manager Bruce Motley and said "give us your guns, I want your guns".

Police said Mr Carvell grabbed a .45 Colt 1911 handgun from a shelf under a desk and repeatedly warned Beckham to drop the machete.

Beckham allegedly kept walking towards the men and was shot once in the stomach by Mr Carvell, who jointly owns the store with his father.

While Beckham has been arrested police have yet to decide if Mr Carvell will face any charges.

In an exclusive statement to the Herald, Mr Carvell said he wanted to "thank everyone for their love and support, especially my wife and family".

"I cannot say anything further at this time because I know that there is an ongoing police inquiry."

Beckham has been charged with assault with intent to rob and was remanded in custody until Monday following a special court hearing at Auckland City Hospital yesterday. A sitting was later held in the Auckland District Court where part of the police summary of facts was read to media following a failed bid for name suppression by Beckham's lawyer.

Greg Carvell's statement: 'I had no choice'

The incident last Thursday has caused me an enormous amount of distress.

I am upset that I had to resort to the measure that I did in order to defend myself. In the circumstances I had no other options as my life was at risk.

Since last Thursday I have co-operated with the police.

I fully accept and appreciate that the police inquiry has to be thorough and run its natural course.

I understand that the man who threatened me with the machete is currently receiving treatment in hospital. I wish him a speedy recovery.

- Additional reporting by James Ihaka

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