Four men who broke into the rural family home of a Kawhia man who sold drugs were warned he was likely to "shoot" anyone who would try to steal from him.
And murder-accused Orren Scott Williams, 37, is alleged to have done exactly that, firing eight shots at four men after they "ran for their lives" from the Harbour Rd house early on June 6 last year.
All of Williams' shots - fired with a military-style semi-automatic rifle - either hit one of the four victims or the blue Toyota Harrier they were travelling in, and with such impact they blew out the rear windows and travelled not only through the car's metal but also through the seats the victims were sitting in.
Addressing the jury in the High Court at Hamilton this afternoon in her opening submissions, Crown prosecutor Rebecca Mann told the jury of six men and six women the defendant's actions proved he intended to cause them harm as all they suffered injuries to their backs, ankles or arms.
Williams has denied murdering Faalili Moleli Fauatea, 23, and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Shaun Te Kanawa, Grayson Toilolo and Joe Tumaialu.
Mann told the court the dramatic series of events that night and how the group came to be on Williams' property.
Emma Salvation, will give evidence how she bought a "tinnie" from Williams on the afternoon of June 5. While there she noticed two large black sacks of cannabis and got back into a car with her friend, Te Kanawa, telling him how lucrative it could be if they managed to steal it.
After planting the idea with Te Kanawa, she then drew two sketches of the house showing where the cannabis and gun safe were, and which rooms the children were in.
She also warned Te Kanawa, that if Williams "sees you, he will shoot you".
"A warning," Mann told the jury, "that you will appreciate proved most accurate."
However, defence counsel Philip Morgan QC explained in his short opening that his client was not guilty of all charges as he had been acting in self-defence.
Mann told the jury that after his chat with Salvation, Te Kanawa rounded up three associates and, with a machete and shotgun, went to Williams' house, driving up the long, winding driveway. They tried to enter the house, not realising Williams was awake.
In a police interview, Williams said he heard a noise at the front door and opened it to see a man in a balaclava before shutting it again.
He grabbed a taiaha from the lounge and used it to whack the intruders through the front door of his house. The men are accused of entering the house and a scuffle has broken out. He told police he knew what they were there for, Mann said.
The intruders walked down a hallway and Williams struck one of them with the taiaha from behind and the scuffle began.
Williams told police he ended up on the floor with the victim armed with the gun and saw his wife, Taryn, on the ground next to him.
Williams said he could tell that the victim with the gun wasn't going to use it, and only had it to be intimidating.
He got up and struck that victim, grabbed the taiaha and ran to the laundry cupboard, locking it behind him.
Mann said he was asked about his wife and he responded that "she was alright" and that she wasn't saying anything.
Inside the laundry cupboard was Williams' gun cabinet. He ripped the door off it and grabbed the military-style powered rifle.
The group then fled the house and Mann submitted that as they fled to their car, Williams began firing shots.
Two were fired from the courtyard area outside the garage before he moved to get a better line of sight of the vehicle they were now inside and trying to "retreat" in.
Six more shots were fired at the vehicle, many piercing its exterior and hitting the victims. Mann said a forensic pathologist will give evidence that, given the bullet's trajectory, Fauatea died from a shot to the lower back, likely as he was leaning forward running at the time. He was also shot a second time; a "glancing blow to this shoulder".
Police also found bloodstains on the gravel driveway, along with shattered rear windscreen glass and rear side light.
Te Kanawa was shot on the outside of his forearm, Tumaialu on the back of his right ankle and Toilolo was shot in the small of his back as he sat in the driver's seat of the vehicle.
The group tried to flee so quickly, Mann said, they reversed at speed into a large tree stump, damaging the stump and their vehicle.
The group then fled before stopping at the closest house nearby, 4km away, in front of Hauturu School.
Emergency services, including a rescue helicopter, were called and the victims were all flown to hospital. However Fauatea died just as he was about to be flown out.After they left, Williams called a friend and told him what happened and when asked if he'd called police, said he hadn't. He asked him to look for the group's vehicle. Williams also got in his vehicle and looked for the group.
Salvation eventually spotted Williams driving past police and told them who he was. Police pulled him up down the road.
The alleged weapon was found in his back seat.
Mann said none of the victims would be giving evidence as they didn't want to take part in the prosecution. All been charged for their part in the incident.
Toilolo was the only one before the court.
Morgan briefly explained the three issues he wanted the jury to mull over during the two-week trial.
"They certainly left and after they had been shot but this case - of the defendant revenging himself on these men - is nothing more than Crown counsel's theory."
He told the jury they would need to decide what actually happened and that the group weren't fleeing for their lives. He said they would also have to decide if Williams was justified in his use of force in the circumstances and whether it was reasonable.