A slain Killer Beez gang member told the Parole Board he felt safe in prison just months before being released back into the community where he was shot to death.
Rory William O'Neill was killed at a Blockhouse Bay, West Auckland, home in the early hours of November 4, just two months almost to the day he was released from prison following a four-year sentence for injuring, intentional damage, possessing a firearm and unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle.
Police initially said they weren't looking for anyone else in relation to the shooting, which they described as "unexplained" but later confirmed a homicide investigation was underway. They said O'Neill was "known to police".
No arrests have been made and police declined to respond to questions from the Herald on Sunday, including whether the shooting was gang related.
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The 34-year-old was seen by the Parole Board in July and his final parole report reveals he had racked up 53 convictions and had served a number of jail terms. He openly admitted he was a Killer Beez member, agreeing it wasn't positive but explained the gang kept him safe in prison.
"He explained his ongoing association by saying that they are his safety network in prison. He acknowledged that this association rolls over into the community," the report says.
The Killer Beez are a street gang that has been operating since the early 2000s, having formed in South Auckland. Its president, Josh Masters, is serving a lengthy prison sentence for drug-related offending.
O'Neill told the board he had plans to better himself after prison and hoped to become a gib-stopper by getting a certificate. A representative from the prison said O'Neill was "generally pretty good" in jail.
O'Neill was declined parole at that hearing in July but was released when his sentence ended two months later, on September 2. A psychological report noted O'Neill had a "high risk of further violent offending as he is yet to address his propensity for violence", the board said in its report.
O'Neill's funeral was held in the coastal Hauraki district town of Waihi, where police were on standby in case of any trouble. Local media reported at the time that police didn't expect any issues but an "increase in gang related activity" was expected.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Avondale CIB on (09) 820 5784. Alternatively, information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.