Graphic content warning: Some readers may find this story disturbing

A "pool of blood" greeted the first police officers at the fatal shooting of a 2-year-old girl, a scene which remains with those who attended.

Amokura Daniels-Sanft died after she was shot in the head on June 2 last year.

She died while playing in the driveway of her family home in South Auckland.


Her father Gustav Otto Sanft, 26, is charged with her manslaughter and has pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a pistol, as the sawn-off shotgun used was technically classified.

Gustav Sanft after an earlier High Court appearance in relation to the death of his daughter. Photo/Doug Sherring
Gustav Sanft after an earlier High Court appearance in relation to the death of his daughter. Photo/Doug Sherring

Senior Constable Jackie Fyfe was one of the first police officers at the horrific scene.

She had been attending another job to conduct a fraud related warrant with Constable Yutaro Kanai when she was waved down by people requiring emergency help.

"I was confronted by [Sanft] holding a small child, he was covered in blood, and there was a large pool of blood on the ground when I ran in," she said, recalling the moment she entered the Favona Rd property.

"I asked him to give me the child, he didn't respond to me, in fact the entire time he was there he was just making a noise, it was just a howling noise," she said through tears on the witness stand in the High Court at Auckland.

"My job was to check if that child was alive, so I went up to him further and said, I asked him to 'give me the child' but there wasn't a response so I looked at her, I didn't know it was a little girl, I looked ..." she said during her agonising testimony.

"She wasn't moving and she didn't have half of her head."

Kanai then yelled at Fyfe.

"He just said, 'get away, get away'."


Kanai pushed her away from the gruesome scene, Fyfe told the court.

The scene on Favona Rd, Mangere after the shooting. Photo/Jason Oxenham
The scene on Favona Rd, Mangere after the shooting. Photo/Jason Oxenham

She then saw three children in a car on the property.

"There was a small child, probably about 1, and two other children maybe about 6 or 7, they were young, they were like primary school kids.

"I grabbed the baby, the 1-year-old, and I covered its face with my jacket and I ran back out to the gate."

Fyfe then ran back to the car to grab the next child.

"There was no way that there was any sign of life," she said referring to Amokura.

"About that time I heard sirens coming and I ran to the front of the drive and it was the fire brigade, and I know there is always an advanced paramedic on their team.

"Just run, you just need to run into the scene, I just need to know if that child is alive," she told the paramedic.

"[Sanft] was still holding her, and I turned around and just came to the front of the driveway and just burst into tears."

She said she apologised to her fellow police officers, "because I was the senior constable and I should've been setting an example, but ...

"I just pulled myself together and went to the ambos and just said, 'get in there'.

"I walked out of the scene and I didn't go back in there, nah," she said, wiping away tears.

Amokura's mum Julia Daniels then arrived at the scene wanting to "hug" her baby, but police tackled her and stopped her from witnessing the trauma.

"That's when I knew it was [the] mum," Fyfe said.

She added that a fellow officer told her Sanft had shot his daughter.

"He said 'he shot her', and I said 'what?'

"I just thought sh*t, sh*t ... 'You need to go and tell the DS [detective sergeant], which is Michelle Gillespie, you need to go tell her, you need to go tell her'."

Under cross-examination Fyfe said she was not mistaken by what she heard.

"That is information that has stuck in my head," she said.

"It was significant and something that I'm never going to forget."

Kanai later gave evidence and told the court there were moments from the day he wanted to forget.

"I've gone over this, over and over and over again in my head.

"As much as I want to forget it, I can't," when asked about the aftermath of the shooting, specifically what Sanft cried out.

When Kanai arrived at the scene in the first police car he saw Sanft "cradling the lifeless body of a child".

"The skull of the child had appeared to have exploded out, and the area where you would have expected to see the skull was empty."

He said Sanft was "crying and wailing and repeating words" as he held his child.

"There appeared to be a large portion of the brain sitting on the couch.

"In between the crying and the wailing I heard the defendant say 'I shot her'.

"'I shot her, what have I done? What have I done?'" Kanai recalled the 26-year-old father saying.

"'Amo, Amo what have I done, I've f***** up, there's no coming back from this'."

Sanft is on trial in the High Court at Auckland before a jury and Justice Geoffrey Venning.