Mum still critical after shooting

By Celeste Gorrell Anstiss, Joanne Carroll, Chloe Johnson, Abby Gillies

The police station in Tokoroa where Jamie Ginns shot Matakapua Glassie. Photo / John Van De Ven
The police station in Tokoroa where Jamie Ginns shot Matakapua Glassie. Photo / John Van De Ven

A mum-of-three shot outside a Tokoroa police station remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The body of a gunman at the centre of a manhunt was found last night, ending a violent rampage which saw Matakapua Glassie shot just metres away from police officers.

Jamie Ginns, 32, pursued his former partner through central Tokoroa before shooting her in front of horrified children there for the town's Santa parade.

His body was found in the Mamaku Forest near Rotorua eight hours later as a disturbing picture emerged of two days of violence that left two women in hospital.

Glassie, 36, was last night recovering from surgery in Waikato Hospital. Another member of the Glassie family, 20, was released from Tokoroa Hospital after injuries from an attack at Glassie's home on Friday - at which Ginns was also apparently present.

Glassie remains in a critical but stable condition in the Hospital's intensive care unit.

Mata Glassie is the aunt of Nia, who died five years ago aged 3 after horrific abuse, including being shut inside a dryer which was then turned on.

Detective Inspector Tim Anderson said armed police found Ginns' car around 7.30pm and a body nearby.

The discovery came 36 hours after Glassie's neighbours were brought out of their homes by the sound of screaming on Friday morning. Horrified, they saw a woman hobble out on to Glassie's driveway where she collapsed on her knees.

Neighbours say they rushed to help - with a passing motorist - and were astounded to find she had been hog-tied.

One neighbour said the wire was tightly wrapped around her neck and wrists in a way that further strangled her when she moved.

At first, those arriving to help could not see the wire because it had embedded itself in her skin. Minutes later, Ginns and another man came racing up in a van and got out, saying they were there to collect the woman. They fled as a police car turned into the street.

There was no sign of Ginns until about 11.25am yesterday when he was seen pursuing Glassie through central Tokoroa, where the town's Santa parade was being held.

Lions Club member Richard Nelson was directing traffic when two speeding cars turned towards him from SH1. "The parade had just finished. There were kids all over the place.

"She was going 100km/h and this white car was right behind her - he couldn't have been more than one or 1 metres behind her."

Nelson said the shooting took place in an area full of children and their families, many of whom were crossing the road after watching the parade.

"Fortunately most of the kids were sitting in their floats (at the time). There were a couple of people they just missed."

At the police station, "the car bounced up and skidded to a halt", and the man pulled up alongside her.

The man then fired through his open window at the woman still sitting in the car, shattering the glass, said Nelson.

"I thought 'Christ, what's happening' and then I heard a boom and the guy following her took off."

Nelson, a Vietnam War veteran, said the weapon appeared to be a sawn-off shotgun. He said police almost immediately came out of the building after hearing the shots.

A woman across the road from the police station heard a "loud bang" and "saw a woman lying on the ground".

"It was a driveby, the man rolled down the window and shot. It makes me sick. That's the sickening part of it - that kids saw this happen and it was on the police's doorstep."

St John ambulance spokeswoman Sarah Martin said police asked for an ambulance at 11.55am. Glassie was taken to Tokoroa Hospital then by helicopter to Waikato Hospital. Police began hunting for Ginns, releasing his name as the person who had shot Glassie. The public were warned to stay away from Ginns, who police said was extremely dangerous.

By mid-afternoon, the hunt turned to Thompson St, which was sealed off by police. Armed, black-clad police targeted one house as neighbours cowered below window sills.

Neighbour and mother of one Desiree Morunga, 23, watched as armed police surrounded her neighbour's home.

Using a loud hailer, a police officer shouted: "Do as you are told and no harm will come to you. Come out of the house with your arms in the air."

Officers approached the house with dogs and shields, throwing stun grenades inside.

Morunga said: "My [3-year-old] son was really scared."

Another neighbour, Ngaire Tehiko, heard the stun grenades fired and believed they were shots. She huddled with her children inside their home, waiting for the police to leave.

The final explosion came about 4.05pm before police left the street. Shortly after, police checkpoints were set up around Mamaku Forest. Jeanette Ginns, an aunt of Jamie Ginns and close friend of Glassie, said the couple had three daughters together before separating about three years ago.

"She is a lovely, lovely person, she is a kind and caring person who always has a big hug for you. She is a wonderful mum to her children."

She said she hoped her nephew would hand himself in to police.

"Oh help yes [he needs to hand himself in] but whether he would is another story. He's a very, very different boy."

Ginns' brother Murray, who lives in Australia, said he found out about the manhunt through Facebook. "I'm shocked it has all happened." Cousin Tere Glassie said the family were in shock to be hit by tragedy again.

"Mata's brother is Nia's dad (Glassie Glassie Jr). Me and him were close. He lives in Oz with his three children and his new girlfriend. They are doing really well. Now his sister has been shot," he said.

Glassie had been away on Thursday night to visit family in Taupo who had returned to visit from Australia.

A friend of Jamie and Mata said the couple had been "always breaking up and making up".

"Jamie has had issues. Just with his nature. Violence."

Police were still on the scene late last night.

- Herald on Sunday

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