Man in court over primary school shooting

A 35-year-old man who allegedly shot a man known to him several times at a Waikato Primary school yesterday has been remanded in custody after a court appearance.

Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Nicholls said the man had appeared in Hamilton District Court today charged with attempted murder and several firearm offences.

He was remanded in custody until January 14.

Mr Nicholls said the man was in a stable condition in Waikato Hospital today after undergoing surgery overnight.

The man was shot in the grounds of Taupiri Primary School - 8km southeast of Huntly - about 4.30pm.

The gunman was believed to have had a shotgun and .22 calibre rifle with him at the time of the shooting.

Police had recovered a couple of spent shotgun cartridges at the school, Mr Nicholls said.

"We haven't located either firearm, but we have still got a couple of vehicles to search."

Police would today finish searching the school and an adjacent house where the men had started a verbal altercation prior to the shooting, he said.

Officers would continue interviewing witnesses tomorrow and putting together the "pieces of the puzzle" surrounding the shooting, Mr Nicholls said.

Police also wanted to speak to anyone who had seen or heard anything when driving past the school between about 2.30pm and 4.30pm, including a car doing a burnout and the gunshots, he said.

A Taupiri man, who did not want to be named, told the Waikato Times he had been having a nap when he was awoken by a gunshot.

"I thought to myself, 'that was a bloody gunshot'.

"Then I heard the second one go off straight after it."

He went out to investigate and saw the victim lying by a tree in the school grounds, the man said.

"People and police were everywhere, ambulances, everything."

Waikato Hospital spokeswoman Mary Anne Gill told NZPA this morning the shooting victim had had pellets removed from his abdomen and thigh.

"The man had laparotomoy surgery overnight, a surgical procedure involving an incision through the abdominal wall to gain access into the abdominal cavity, to remove a number of pellets from his abdomen and left thigh," she said.

He was likely to undergo more surgery today.

Ms Gill said Waikato Hospital was full today with 21 patients still in the Emergency Department and eight patients waiting for beds.

"Staff have overnight battled with the high patient workload and trauma," she said.

- NZPA

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 16 Sep 2014 22:38:38 Processing Time: 1095ms