Paul Lasslett had only met his grandchild for the first time a few days before he was shot dead in his Omanawa property, a grieving family friend says.

The 44-year-old was one of the two men found dead at a house on Ormsby Lane, near Tauranga, last night after gunshots rang out. Lasslett owned the property where the shooting took place.

Police have yet to officially name the victims.

Child seen running from Tauranga home where two men shot dead at McLaren Falls
Tauranga shootings: Armed police sent in to battle increasing violence in the city
Tauranga police shooting: Neighbours heard rapid fire but police say one shot ended hostage ordeal
McLaren Falls, Tauranga homicides: People seen fleeing into bush after shots fired


A grieving friend, who didn't want to be named, remembers Lasslett as a loving father and a kind man with a quick wit.

"He loved people," the friend said.

The friend said Lasslett's mother was heartbroken about his death.

"She is broken - that's her baby. He had the most beautiful smile, he was really happy."

Lasslett had only days before become a grandfather. He is survived by his daughter, 21.

"He didn't get a chance to be a granddad," his friend said.

"I'm blown away that such a nice, giving, loving person has been taken far too young."

A homicide inquiry is underway, but no arrests have been made.


The friend understood police were reviewing CCTV footage taken at Lasslett's property and hoped they would shortly arrest someone in connection to the two deaths.


Earlier today Police Minister Stuart Nash announced police in Tauranga were stepping up their response to the increased gang rivalry and violent crime in the area.

Armed police dressed in body armour will be patrolling the streets carrying Bushmaster rifles and Glock pistols.

"Expect to see the Eagle helicopter in the air. Expect to see police executing search warrants at gang properties and stopping vehicles carrying gang members and associates."

Nash wants tougher penalties for gun crime and has challenged National leader Simon Bridges to support new gun laws at a parliamentary vote next week.

Tuesday's homicide was the latest in a series of brazen shootings involving semi-automatic firearms, with a suspected arson along a row of the Bay of Plenty shops last month.

Nash said the Government was pouring more resources into policing the Bay of Plenty, targeting gangs and organised crime.

An extra 91 full-time police officers are now working across the Bay of Plenty district, a booster after an ongoing drop in number in the last five years of the previous government, Nash said.

"What's happening there is happening all around the country. Since March last year police have seized more than 2,000 illegal firearms from gangs and other criminals."