Suspicious death: Man seen running after gunshots rang out

By Kristin Edge

UPDATE 4.30pm
Police are yet to make an arrest in relation to the death of a man in a Whangarei suburb.

A senior detective heading the homicide investigation following the death of a 25-year-old man reassured the Otangarei and Whangarei communities there was no on-going risk to members of the public.

"We have no information to suggest that there is any on-going risk to members of the public, however identifying and locating the person or persons involved in this incident is our number one priority," Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said.

Witnesses interviewed by officers today reported seeing a person running away from the vehicle, carrying what was believed to be a firearm.

Police were called to the scene on William Jones Dr about 11pm after reports of gunshots in the area.

The person seen fleeing was described as being of medium build, between 170-180cm tall and wearing a black hoodie with light coloured track pants.

Police have not identified this person nor have we located a firearm during searches of the area.

Mr Burke said forensic experts from ESR had travelled from Auckland and were undertaking a scene examination which was expected to be finished later tonight.

The body will then be removed from the scene and taken to Auckland where a post-mortem is expected to be carried out tomorrow.

While formal identification has not yet taken place, we believe the victim is a 25-year-old male. Police originally released the man's age as 34.

If you have any information that can help contact the Whangarei Police Station on 09 430 4500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


UPDATE 12.40pm
Witnesses have reported seeing a person running away from a vehicle carrying what is believed to be a firearm, police say.

Officers have converged on the Whangarei suburb of Otangarei and launched a homicide investigation following the death of a 34-year-old man.

The man was found dead in a vehicle parked on the side of the road near the entrance to Fishbone Park after reports of gunshots were made about 11pm yesterday.

Officers door-knocking in the neighbourhood have spoken to witnesses who saw a person running away with what seemed to be a firearm.

The person is described as being of medium build, between 170-180cm tall and wearing a black hoodie and light coloured track pants.

"We are still working to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident and the events leading up to it," Detective Inspector Kevin Burke.

"A scene examination is underway and is expected to take some time. Once this is completed the body will be removed from the scene and a post-mortem carried out."

Formal identification of the deceased man was yet to take place, however police believe they know who he is.

If you have any information that can assist police then please contact the Whangarei Police Station on 09 430 4500 or anonmyously on 0800 555

UPDATE 10.30am

A Whangarei woman has taken to Facebook to describe what happened outside her house after gunshots were heard and a man was found dead in a car.

Police this morning continued to investigate the suspicious death of a 34-year-old man and had made no arrests.

Officers were called to William Jones Drv in Otangarei about 11pm last night after members of the public reported hearing gunshots.

The deceased man remained in the white mitsibishi vehicle on the side of the road just outside the entrance to the sports ground known by locals as Fishbone Park at 10am today.

In a public post on Facebook, a woman wrote someone had been shot in the head outside her house.

"The guy has died and still in the driver seat of the car while the police is out on the street trying to find this guy," she said shortly after 11pm yesterday.

She said her mother had gone to see whether the man was still breathing.

Her mother opened the car door and was on the phone to ambulance who were telling her to pull the man out of the car.

Her mother started crying and said: "He's over you cant do anything."

The Facebook writer said there was no way she was going near the car and rang police.

"I got the creeps the guy who shot him was staring at us from up the road the neighbours like thats him and ran in there house," she said.

She said her mother was going to do CPR on the man until she got a closer look at him and that's when her brother and father took her inside.

"Its a pretty flash white car didn't even know the car was still running till mum the scary lady pulled the keys out," she added.

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Police are investigating a suspicious death after a man was found dead in a vehicle in Whangarei overnight.

Police were called to the suburb of Otangarei shortly before 11pm after members of the public reported hearing gunshots.

A 34-year-old man was discovered dead inside a vehicle.

Cordons remain in place around the scene this morning and inquiries into the incident were continuing, police said.

- NZ Herald

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