A witness to a shooting that shattered the Sunday afternoon peace of suburban Greymouth yesterday described the surreal scene unfolding before his eyes as almost unbelievable.

"It was f***ing scary - it was really quite frightening," the witness said today.

The man, who has been advised by police to remain anonymous, said he had been watching from afar as an altercation between two men erupted at the eastern end of Marlborough St, about 4.30pm.

It had just dawned on him that one of those in the altercation had a gun when, "next minute, boom".


"You don't expect to see that sort of sh***," the eyewitness said.

In a statement last night, police said no one was injured and they had arrested a 29-year-old Greymouth man.

Owen Jackson, who has been accused of discharging a firearm, chose not to apply for bail when he appeared in the Greymouth District Court this morning.

Jackson appeared in court in bare feet and wearing overalls. He appeared subdued as Judge Emma Smith remanded him in custody to reappear in the Greymouth court on July 12, where he will enter a plea to four charges.

Jackson faces four charges: committing a dangerous act with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, committing a dangerous act with intent to injure, unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition, and possession of a firearm without a licence.

The West Coast armed offenders squad was called after the shots were fired.

Jackson was arrested after he had left the scene.

Police said the incident began when two vehicles stopped on the street.

"At least two people got out of the vehicles and had an altercation in the street, during which a firearm was presented and discharged," police staff said.

The two vehicles involved then left the scene.

"The Armed Offenders Squad attended and a rifle was recovered. Nobody was injured."

In court this morning, duty solicitor Richard Bodle said that with two "very serious" charges pending against Jackson he had elected not to apply for bail at this stage.

Jackson had a Christchurch-based lawyer and sought to have his case heard in Christchurch, Mr Bodle said.

However, Judge Smith was emphatic the case should not be shifted: "The date will be here."

Meanwhile, police are appealing for information and witnesses to the incident. People can either contact the Greymouth Police Station on 768 1600, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

- Greymouth Star