Teenager killed playing with airgun

By Kieran Campbell

File photo of a Chinese made Air Rifle. Photo / Herald on Sunday
File photo of a Chinese made Air Rifle. Photo / Herald on Sunday

A teenager has died after being shot with an airgun he and four friends were playing with while they were drinking at a Manurewa home last night.

Neighbours and people at the home tried to help the 18-year-old before he was rushed to Middlemore Hospital, where he died shortly after arrival.

Police are considering whether charges will be laid as a result of the death.

Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said the five youths at the home had been playing with a .177 calibre Crosman Nitro Venom break-barrel air rifle and an air pistol, as well as drinking alcohol.

Both the .177 calibre rifle and a Crosman .357 Magnum air pistol were recovered at the scene.

"At this stage there is no indication that the shooting was a deliberate act, however the exact circumstances around how the 18-year-old was shot will be subject to a thorough investigation by police," Mr Lynch said.

"The investigation will determine whether anyone will face charges as a result of the death."

He said air guns were "powerful weapons that have potential to kill or seriously injure".

"They need to be handled in the same manner as firearms and certainly not used by anyone under the influence of alcohol.

"This tragedy should serve as a painful reminder that these weapons are not toys and need to be used in a controlled environment by responsible people with appropriate target awareness and knowledge of their power."

A post-mortem examination is planned for today.

Mr Lynch said police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting and both weapons had been seized.

- APNZ

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