Police have charged an 18-year-old Auckland man with the manslaughter of his friend who was shot dead with an airgun during a drinking session.

Shaun Townsley was killed on January 12 when he and friends were drinking in the backyard of a Manurewa home and shooting targets off a fence.

In a statement this afternoon, Counties Manukau police said they had charged an 18 year old man with manslaughter.

He will appear in the Manukau District Court tomorrow.


Mr Townsley and four friends were at the home in Bettina Place, Manurewa, on the night of January 12 when the fatal shot was fired about 8pm.

Police were called by the ambulance service, which rushed Mr Townsley to Middlemore Hospital, but he died soon after arrival.

"They wouldn't say what happened but [another person] told me. They would only say there was a bang and he dropped to the ground."

At the time, Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said the death served as a "painful reminder" airguns were not toys and needed to be used "in a controlled environment by responsible people with appropriate target awareness and knowledge of their power".

- NZ Herald