Emotional visit to gang HQ for Millie

By Lane Nichols

Friends, family turn out to pay respects to Connor Morris before tomorrow’s funeral

Police guard the scene in Don Buck Rd, Massey, where Connor Morris was killed with what was believed to be a machete. Picture / Sarah Ivey
Police guard the scene in Don Buck Rd, Massey, where Connor Morris was killed with what was believed to be a machete. Picture / Sarah Ivey

Millie Elder-Holmes has made an emotional visit to the Auckland gang headquarters where the body of her slain boyfriend Connor Morris lies.

The devastated daughter of the late Sir Paul Holmes was at Mr Morris' side yesterday along with his grieving mother Julie and father - prominent Head Hunters Motorcycle Club member Chris - ahead of tomorrow's funeral.

"She's doing very well considering the circumstances," Ms Elder-Holmes' close friend Pebbles Hooper told the Herald.

"She was so in love with him. She's obviously devastated and coping the best she can."

Read more:
Renewal of gang ties may make retaliation for killing more likely

A constant stream of patched Head Hunters members arrived at the Fight Club 88 boxing gym in Ellerslie yesterday to pay their respects.

Mr Morris' body was returned to his family on Monday who requested that a tangi for the construction site manager be held at the gym, which has strong links to the gang and is where he had regularly trained.

Ms Hooper also visited the gym yesterday, accompanied by her mother, World co-founder and fashion designer Denise L'Estrange-Corbet, to support Ms Elder-Holmes.

"We just went to pay our respects," said Ms Hooper, who had never met Mr Morris. "It was just more to support my friend and his family."

Mr Morris, 26, died on Saturday night following an altercation on Massey's Don Buck Rd.

He is believed to have been struck on the back of the head with a machete, though police are still searching for the murder weapon and are yet to charge anyone in connection with the killing.

They said it was a random incident and not gang-related.

A scene examination continued yesterday and a specialist police search group carried out a further search of two large bush areas, as well as a stream running behind a block of houses.

"Police are still uncertain as to the weapon that was used in the incident, however, a number of items of interest have been located and these are being forensically examined," Detective Inspector Greg Cramer said.

Police spoke yesterday to others present during the altercation but still wanted to hear from anyone who was in the area on Saturday night.

"We appreciate there is a huge amount of public interest in the investigation, however this is an enquiry that requires attention to detail to piece together the circumstances from a large number of witness accounts and evidence taken from the scene."

With Mr Morris' gang links, there are fears of possible retribution, and the Police Association has also said police would be on alert in case of any violent retaliation.

But Ms Hooper said there was no sense of anger at the gym yesterday. "It's just a family mourning like anyone else would."

A spokesman at the gym said grieving family members were gathered inside but had requested privacy.

"We've got all the kids and that saying goodbye. Thursday will be a great send-off."

The funeral will take place at 10.30am tomorrow.

A spokeswoman said police would comment later today on whether they would have a presence at the funeral and what security arrangements were in place.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 24 Nov 2014 14:41:26 Processing Time: 396ms