Armed with a .22 rifle, Shaun Merro Taikato jumped into the back of a car as the startled occupants munched on their McDonald's.
Taikato demanded cash, and although one of the three occupants eventually managed to jump from the moving car, two others would go on to endure the most frightening experience of their lives.
Taikato appeared in the High Court at Hamilton today when, just before his trial was due to kick off, he pleaded guilty to multiple violence charges including aggravated robbery and kidnapping after the incident at McDonald's Tauranga, at the corner of Cameron Rd and 11th Avenue, last year.
Justice Mathew Downs convicted Taikato on all charges and remanded him in custody for sentencing in the Rotorua High Court in September.
Court documents reveal the harrowing detail from about 4.30am on May 28 last year.
After tightening the hood on his jacket, Taikato approached the car, jumping in the back seat.
He pointed his firearm at the driver and said "We can do this the easy or the hard way". He then told them to "hand over all your cash and everything you have".
The victim in the back seat tried, unsuccessfully to get out, and was instead punched before being told to "shut the f****** door" and Taikato telling the driver "drive, drive, drive".
As they drove out the back entrance, the back seat passenger punched Taikato, opened his door and ran to safety.
The car drove on.
After telling the driver to take him to Merivale, Taikato fired a shot outside the car window and proceeded to tell the two remaining victims "this is going to be your final ride".
He demanded the driver withdraw $2000 from an ATM in Greerton, however once stopping got him to go to another one as it was too well lit.
After stopping at the second ATM, the victim got a receipt from the ATM showing he had no money. Taikato punched the victim in the back of the head. He then said he had money at home and as they drove Taikato told them "I want $2000 or I'm taking the car".
The driver instead took them to the front passenger's house but when they arrived, Taikato smelled a rat and told them, "you guys trying to fool me?" This is not a flat". He got the victim to reverse and told them to head to Te Puke as "this is going to be your last ride".
While driving through Welcome Bay, he got them to drive up Waitao Rd, finding a spot to turn the car around so it faced back down the road.
Once stopped, the victims were forced out of the vehicle to stand in front of the car's lights and told to remove their shoes and socks and empty their pockets.
He took a packet of cigarettes, after earlier taking up to $350 off them, and told the pair to start walking. As they walked away Taikato drove towards them, however they managed to jump out of the way.
The following month, Taikato was at his home on Henderson Cres, Tauranga, when he shot himself through the hand and chest and hospitalised.
When police questioned him about the May incident, he denied knowing anything about it.
Justice Downs convicted Taikato on two charges of kidnapping, one charge of attempted kidnapping, two charges of aggravated robbery of cigarettes, cash and a vehicle, careless discharge of a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm.
He also issued Taikato with a first strike warning as two of the charges were qualifying violence offences.