An Ōtara man shot dead on Friday afternoon was turning away from a confrontation, a family member says.

Tuala Tusani told the Herald that his cousin, Joseph Siaosi, 23, was shot by an occupant of a car as he walked away.

Siaosi's friend and the first police officer to arrive gave CPR but Siaosi died on the lawn in front of the family home in Piako St, Ōtara.

"He was shot here in front of his house. It was a drive-by shooting," said Tusani, who was with family who had gathered at the house yesterday.


"There was an altercation between my cousin and the guys in the car."

"It was a normal disagreement [but] I'm just not sure where all the firearms are coming from. It's not like disagreements are new."

His cousin, like a lot of young people, had too much time on his hands, he said, but as far as he knew wasn't officially part of a gang.

"This is his street. This is his home. It was just a fight. My cousin had challenged [someone in the car] to come out and have a man-to-man, and they didn't. They shot him."

Tusani said the family was planning for a funeral and trying to understand what happened.

Police at the scene of a fatal shooting in Piako Street, Otara. Photo / Sam Sword
Police at the scene of a fatal shooting in Piako Street, Otara. Photo / Sam Sword

The shooting occurred about 2.50pm. Children from nearby Flat Bush School and Flat Bush Kindergarten were briefly placed in lockdown.

About 150 people gathered yesterday at Kia Aroha College in neighbouring Clover Park for a hui prompted by an increase in gun violence.

There have been a dozen shootings in South Auckland during the past year, with Friday's incident the third in recent weeks.


Speaking before the closed meeting, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Jenny Salesa, Manukau East MP and Minister of Ethnic Communities, said they had come to listen to concerns rather than make promises.

Goff said that Police Commissioner Mike Bush had assured him that the Counties-Manukau district would get the highest proportion of new recruits, while Salesa said the Government's "Wellbeing Budget" would include investment in communities such as Ōtara.

People spoken to before the meeting said they wanted greater police visibility and more investment to improve prosperity in South Auckland.

Locals met yesterday to discuss a recent spate of shootings. Photo / Dean Purcell
Locals met yesterday to discuss a recent spate of shootings. Photo / Dean Purcell

Head of the Ōtara and Papatoetoe business associations, Rana Judge, said tougher gun laws needed to be followed by a concerted effort to remove the many guns that were unlawfully in the community.

He wanted to see tighter laws to combat the recruitment of children by gangs such as the Killer Beez, a higher police public presence, and more facilities for sport and hobbies.

The recent shootings had concerned locals because of "Ōtara's bad history", he said.


"They don't want a repeat of that history because Ōtara has been looking up."

Kia Aroha College Principal Haley Milne said saturating the area with police was not a long term solution.

"It's those sort of things that are sticking plasters and I think when we are talking about countering violence but we've got armed police, it's a bit of a contradiction."

"It's about the long-term solution. Until we actually start addressing the root cause of what is happening we are not going to get anywhere really. "

She said young people were annoyed that Ōtara was again being portrayed as a violent place and frustrated about a lack of opportunities.

"But our young people are also really positive. So for us in our school it's just about reminding them that yes we have some trouble in our community but it's not going to define our community"

The Otara markets. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The Otara markets. Photo / Brett Phibbs

On April 26, the president of the Killer Beez gang, Josh Masters, was shot at a Harley Davidson store in Mt Wellington.

Masters was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

A 39-year-old man was arrested and charged with attempted murder in relation to the shooting.

Siaosi Tulua, 39, was also killed in a fatal shooting at a property on Darnell Cres, in Clover Park, about 10.30pm on April 21.

A post-mortem was carried out and it was confirmed that Tulua died from a gunshot wound.

Police have yet to make an arrest in connection with Friday's shooting and have appealed for witnesses and others with information to call Counties Manukau Police on 09 261 1321 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Additional reporting, Rosie Gordon