Policeman 28th killed in line of duty

The south Auckland policeman shot dead during a raid on a methamphetamine laboratory overnight was the 28th officer to die on duty.

The latest victim, yet to be named, was gunned down in an incident in Mangere east, about 1.44am today.

Another officer was wounded and is being treated in Auckland's Middlemore Hospital. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A case of mistaken identity on July 30, 1890, is believed to have led to the first killing of a New Zealand policeman on duty.

Gumdigger Henry Funcke had been removed from a passenger steamer after his rifle was taken from him.

In a fit of rage when he was put ashore, he pulled out a hidden pistol and fired at the departing steamer.

One of his bullets hit Dargaville police constable Neil McLeod, 44, in the chest and he died instantly.

Other deaths of police on duty were:

* April 14, 1910: Sergeant John Patrick Hackett McGuire, 42, died from gunshot wounds three days after he was shot in the stomach during a manhunt for escaped prisoner John Joseph Pawelka.

* February 5, 1913: Constable John Doyle, 35, died in hospital four days after being assaulted during a scuffle with two men in the Albany Hotel, Shannon.

* October 6, 1919: Constable Vivian Dudding, 32, was shot in the head when he attended a domestic dispute in Thorndon, Wellington. He died in hospital an hour later.

* August 27, 1921: Constable James Dorgan, 37, was shot by an unidentified gunman when he investigated a break-in at Timaru. The killer was never found.

* October 21, 1934: Constable Thomas Heeps, 50, died in Waikato Hospital after he was shot twice near Otorohanga by Henare Hona who was being hunted after shooting dead four people.

* October 8, 1941: Sergeant William Cooper, 43, Constable Frederick William Jordan, 26, Constable Percy Campbell Tulloch, 35, and Constable Edward Mark Best, 42, all became victims of Stanley Graham, the West Coast farmer who shot several people after refusing to hand over his firearms. By the end of the largest manhunt in New Zealand history, seven people, including Graham, had died. Another of his victims died 17 months later from gunshot wounds.

* January 31, 1949: Traffic Officer John Kehoe, 24, was shot several times by Richard Angus McGill in Whakatane. He died soon after.

* May 27, 1951: Sergeant William Shore Hughes, 48, was shot dead during a domestic dispute at Otaki by Noema Raana Rika.

* January 6, 1963: Detective Sergeant Neville Wilson Power, 25, and Detective Inspector Wallace Chalmers, 46, were both shot by Victor George Wasmuth when they attended a shooting in west Auckland. Wasmuth also shot dead a neighbour and wounded another man.

* February 3, 1963: Constable James Thomas Richardson, 24, and Constable Bryan Leslie Schultz, 21, died instantly when they were shot as they sat in their police car after answering a call to a domestic dispute in Lower Hutt.

* August 15, 1966: Constable Donald Richard Stokes, 23, died in Dunedin Hospital after being beaten by escaping prisoners in the Dunedin police station cells.

* February 4, 1970: Sergeant Gilbert Peter Arcus, 44, died in Tauranga Hospital from head injuries after falling off a chair as he tried to placate a mentally disturbed woman through the window of a locked room.

* September 25, 1976: Constable Peter William Murphy, 21, was shot when he attended a break-in at an Invercargill sports shop.

* June 13, 1977: Traffic Officer Barry Yorston Gibson, 32, was assaulted by a motorist and died of head injuries in Taranaki Base Hospital.

* April 7, 1986: Traffic Officer Robin James Dudding, 44, was shot dead after he was taken hostage by Ross Kameta. Traffic Officer Dudding was later awarded a posthumous George Medal for bravery.

* May 27, 1990: Senior Constable Peter Morris Umbers, 35, was bashed with his own baton when he stopped Richard Thomas Lakich near Ranfurly, Central Otago. Mr Umbers was awarded the posthumous George Medal for bravery.

* November 13, 1990: Sergeant Stewart Graeme Guthrie, 41, died at Aramoana when he was shot by gunman David Malcolm Gray who shot dead 12 other people. Mr Guthrie was awarded the posthumous George Medal.

* April 21, 1996: Constable Glenn Arthur McKibbin, 25, was shot as he stood beside his police patrol car in the Hastings suburb of Flaxmere. He died on the way to hospital. Former soldier Terence Thompson was later found in a Havelock North orchard and shot dead by police.

* May 27, 1999 - Mangakino constable Lester Murray Stretch, 38, was bashed to death in the small Waikato town by Carlos Namana.

* July 5, 2002 - Feilding Detective Constable Duncan Taylor fatally shot by a teenager during a confrontation at a Rongotea farmhouse.

* July 11, 2008 - Porirua police officer Sergeant Derek Wootton, 52, died after he was hit by a car as he laid road spikes to stop a stolen car.

September 11, 2008 - Sergeant Don Wilkinson shot after he was disturbed planting a tracking device on a vehicle outside a suspected illegal drugs lab in Mangere East, South Auckland.

- NZPA

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