By Imran Ali
A Northland man accused of shooting at a police officer has pleaded not guilty and elected a jury trial.
Interim name suppression lapsed for Corey O'Connell, 31, when he appeared in the Kaikohe District Court today.
He first appeared on Saturday last week and was remanded in custody with interim name suppression to reappear before a judge this morning.
O'Connell, who lives in Maromaku, sought continued name suppression but it was declined by Judge McDonald.
Police were carrying out a search warrant at an address in Maromaku, south of Kawakawa, on Friday morning when they were fired at. No one was hurt.
Officers had visited the property to investigate a kidnapping and assault that happened on November 29. The victim received non-life threatening injuries in the assault.
O'Connell is facing two charges of kidnapping, two of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, three of unlawfully possessing a firearm, and a single charge of using a firearm against law enforcement.
No bail was sought and he was remanded in custody for a case review on March 9, 2021.
Meanwhile, police are still hunting for two men who shot at a police officer in Northland in October.
The officer wasn't injured but the patrol car windscreen was peppered with shotgun pellets on Puketona Rd, off State Highway 10, just after 4am on October 27.
The incident sparked a major police operation and a search by members of the Armed Offenders Squad at a series of properties on Matauri Bay Rd that were connected to an earlier abduction.
During the same night ram-raids were carried out at a Four Square in Paihia and a dairy in Moerewa. It is not yet known if those raids were related to the other crimes.
The drama began on October 27 when a car pulled out in front of a police vehicle and stopped in the middle of Puketona Rd, between Puketona Junction and the quarry. Before the police officer had a chance to get out of the patrol car, two men got out of their vehicle and took aim. The officer retreated immediately, but one shot was fired at the vehicle, spraying the windscreen with shotgun pellets.
The officer quickly left the scene and called for back-up. She was not injured.