The victim of an alleged stabbing in Beach Haven has been named as Joshuah Tasi as community leaders say his violent death has left residents in a state of shock.
Tasi, 28, died after an altercation with two teenagers on Beach Haven Road on Friday night.
The alleged attackers, aged 14 and 17, were arrested in the Far North on Saturday and charged with murder.
It is believed Tasi was attacked inside his car around 7pm after a minor traffic accident between two cars led to an altercation. He suffered multiple stab wounds to his neck, chest and leg.
Neighbours and emergency services tried to save Tasi, but he died at the scene of the attack.
“Police extend our condolences to Joshuah’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time,” a police spokesperson said this afternoon.
“Joshuah’s family would like to thank all of the people who helped him and provided first aid at the scene.”
Around 100 people gathered at Beach Haven Community House this evening to mourn, before moving to the site of the attack for a karakia (prayer).
Residents lined one side of Beach Haven Road while a small group prayed on the footpath on the other side, where flowers had been left.
Emi Suaniu, chair of the North Shore Pasefika Forum, told the Herald that Tasi was from a Samoan family.
“As a Samoan, when you know a Samoan is involved, you come together as a community to pay respect.”
She said church leaders at the ceremony were praying not only for the victim’s family but for the alleged attackers.
“We have to acknowledge them as well and uplift them in our prayers. What they did is wrong, but they can change into something good. That was a prayer for forgiveness.”
Danielle Grant, deputy chair of the Kaipatiki Local Board, said at the event that residents were “in a state of shock”.
“It has been an incredibly difficult time and this is tragic for our community. I think we all stand in shock and surprise at this.”
Grant said it was too early to know what motivated the young killers in the attack.
“Obviously we need to keep thinking more about what we do to support our youth. We know there is a great deal of anxiety, of stress, for all New Zealanders right now, especially our youth.
“They always say it takes a village to raise a child, I think there is a sense that we … all need to take a shared responsibility for making sure our village is a safe place.”
Auckland councillor Richard Hills said “everyone is pretty devastated and shocked”.
“We are just thinking about the victim and the family and all the community members that tried to help out on Friday night.”
Labour MP for Northcote Shanan Halbert said the karakia was an opportunity to come together after the tragedy.
“What’s important to everyone is that they have the opportunity to come to be a part of the karakia, to whakawātea, to lift the tapu, the hurt that many people are feeling at the moment and enable them to move forward for their week ahead.”
Earlier, a witness tearfully told the Herald that there was “so much blood” after the attack.
He said he saw two young men attacking a third man in a car after what sounded like a minor traffic crash.
Police later tracked down a black BMW sedan they believed was involved. The Herald photographed the car in the nearby suburb of Glenfield.
The victim’s devastated family yesterday asked for privacy while mourning a man who one friend described on social media as the “loveliest, kindest boy”.
A resident who rushed to the victim’s aid said he and others had applied pressure to the man’s wounds.
“I find comfort in hoping that he found comfort that there were people there talking to him ... when he passed,” the resident said. “To be with someone in their last moments like that, that’s quite a connection.”
Photos from the scene on Friday showed damage to the front bumper of the victim’s car.
One resident said he saw that two young men had already left the black car and were allegedly attacking the victim — believed to be in his 30s — in the car behind.
The attack lasted just seconds.
The resident rushed to the victim’s car and was already on the phone to 111 before he reached it, simultaneously screaming for help from nearby neighbours, who were emerging from their homes.
He, his partner and a third woman trained in CPR tried to provide first aid and apply pressure to the wounds.
“But there was just so much blood. I’ve never seen nothing like that before,” he said.
They saw wounds on the victim’s face and neck area, as well as multiple wounds on his leg, but the worst injury was to his chest, the resident said.
“That was our main concern, his chest,” he said. “You just don’t ever expect to see that right in front of your face.”
The first police car was on the scene within about a minute. As many as five patrol cars arrived soon after.
At the instructions of police, residents helped remove the victim from his car and place him on the footpath so more concerted efforts could be made to revive him.
“But I personally believe he was already gone,” the resident said.
“He was pretty much fighting for his life by the time I had even got to the car and managed to apply pressure to his wounds.”