Cherie Howie

Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Deja vu in shooting

Cop bullet kills another man on motorway.

Ivoni Fuimaono-Teputepu. Photo / Doug Sherring
Ivoni Fuimaono-Teputepu. Photo / Doug Sherring

The mother of a teenage courier driver mistakenly shot dead by police drove past the scene of the latest police shooting this week.

Ivoni Fuimaono-Teputepu's 17-year-old son Halatau Naitoko died at the wheel of his van on Auckland's Northwestern Motorway in 2009 during a shoot-out between police and armed man Stephen McDonald.

This week, former soldier Caleb Henry was shot dead by police on the Northern Motorway after a 350km pursuit.

Fuimaono-Teputepu and her husband, Kepu Teputepu, were among motorists who passed the scene in the south-bound lanes later that day.

They heard about the shooting on the radio just before reaching the scene, but she did not turn her face away, Fuimaono-Teputepu said.

"It brought back a lot of anxiety. I wish the day Halatau was shot that I had known where he was and had been there with him."

She still visits her son's grave five times a week but had stopped parking at the motorway site of his death because her husband said it was too dangerous.

She said she knew very little about why Henry was shot. "My heart goes out to [Henry's] family and the police, who have to do their job."

Police have said Henry shot at officers at least three times during the pursuit from the Bay of Plenty.

He is believed to have invaded a farm house and injured a couple the night before. Police have launched five investigations into Henry's death and the Independent Police Complaints Authority is also investigating.

Fuimaono-Teputepu said it was important Henry's death was investigated fully.

"There are some things police say in the beginning and then change it later."

The authority was heavily critical of police actions over Naitoko's death.

Fuimaono-Teputepu said the family were still waiting for a High Court hearing date to consider their $1million compensation claim.

The family's lawyer, Colin Pidgeon QC, said the case was unlikely to be heard this year.

- Herald on Sunday

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