A man killed in a daylight shooting in Palmerston North is understood to be a patched member of the Mongrel Mob, and was described by police as a “young father”.
The Herald understands the shooting follows rising tensions between the Mongrel Mob and Black Power in the city.
It’s understood there was another incident involving the two gangs on Friday night at a bar in Palmerston North.
The Herald contacted the bar, Castle 789, where a House of Shem show was being played that evening, but a staff member said the fight had happened on the street and had nothing to do with the bar. He declined to comment and referred questions to police.
Police were called to a Croydon Ave address about 2.35pm yesterday after a report of a firearm being discharged. The victim was found with critical injuries and died at the scene a short time later, police said in a statement.
“Inquiries are ongoing to locate the offender.”
Police have launched a homicide investigation and have cordons up at the property while a scene examination is being carried out.
The Herald asked police to confirm information about the fight near Castle 789, but has not received a response.
Manawatū Area Commander Inspector Ross Grantham confirmed in a statement the killing yesterday was believed to be gang-related.
“The homicide investigation is ongoing and police are following positive lines of inquiry,” he said.
“We acknowledge that there have been reports of gang tension in the Manawatū area. Additional police staff from both inside the Manawatū area and the wider Central District have been deployed to Palmerston North to assist with high visibility patrols, to provide reassurance to the Palmerston North community.
“Police have no tolerance for the violence that played out over the weekend and we’re working hard to find those involved and hold them to account. Our community can expect to see police continuing to respond to any unlawful behaviour by anyone who believes that they are above the law.
“We urge anyone who is concerned about firearms being held or used unlawfully in the community to contact police so we can ensure firearms are not in the hands of anyone who plans to use them for ill intent.”
Now was the time for “cool heads and clear thinking”, as well as keeping everyone safe and allowing police to complete their investigation, he said.
Police wanted to “apprehend those responsible for the senseless death of the young father” who had been shot.
“People can report any incident in which their safety or that of others is at risk by calling 111 immediately. If you have any information that could assist the homicide investigation, please call 105 and quote file number 230806/2952. You can also share information anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Palmerston North MP Tangi Utikere declined to comment, referring questions to police.
Mayor Grant Smith has also been contacted for comment.
Sam Sherwood is a Christchurch-based reporter who covers crime. He is a senior journalist who joined the Herald in 2022, and has worked as a journalist for 10 years.
Melissa Nightingale is a Wellington-based reporter who covers crime, justice, and news in the capital. She joined the Herald in 2016 and has worked as a journalist for 10 years.