Suspicious looks and tight lips were cast across the faces of Pukemiro residents this morning, as they awoke to news one of their scarcely 200 neighbours was dead.
A car unfamiliar to residents of the small Waikato town rolled in on Friday night and an altercation with a local family "that intimidates everyone" followed.
Screams then rang out into the night, with someone shouting, "He's not breathing", and soon after a man lay dead. Police say the homicide investigation is progressing and the man's body was removed from the property today for a post-mortem examination.
Detective Senior Sergeant Nicola Cornes said police were continuing to examine the scene and had begun speaking to a number of witnesses.
Just after 10pm yesterday, police confirmed a man was "fatally injured" during a fight in the Waikato town, 40km northwest of Hamilton.
Thismorning, the sole arterial route that connects Pukemiro's four parallel residential streets, Joseph St, was cordoned off as police forensics officers filtered in and out of the crime scene.
Officers in blue and white boiler suits combed the scene meticulously for evidence, marking the road with orange cones and taking photographs as local residents walked their dogs.
Again and again, the response from a handful of locals in properties not blocked off by the police was "no comment" to questions about what had transpired.
An adult told a child in his yard to "shut up" and "know when not to talk", and there were also threats to a cameraman of "you've f***ed up now" as he took a snap of a neighbouring house.
One resident said "he just keeps to himself in the town. That's the best thing to do".
But another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, did witness the beginning of last night's incident, telling the Herald on Sunday: "There were three people on the street, a family that intimidates everyone all the time. They were there spitting on the street.
"There was also a car parked in the road which had been there for some time."
That car and those people in it weren't from Pukemiro, the witness said.
An altercation started between the people in the car and the locals standing on the street. The car then drove around the corner into Joseph St.
"Then there were just screams," the witness says.
Several other residents recounted shouts and screams around 9pm.
A Robert Ave resident, who did not want to be identified, said they hadn't seen anything. But they had heard something.
"It's pretty graphic. They are neighbours, they are friends. I don't really want to talk about it," they said.
On the Glen Afton Pukemiro Community Facebook page, speculation about the killing, and the large police presence, led to allegations and threats.
"The same family and their friends again, it's time for the community to stand together. It's enough now someone has been seriously injured. The family needs to go," one Pukemiro resident posted.
Another posted: "Takes someone to be murdered for the police to do something, this might have been prevented had the police done something along time ago as they have been getting away with crimes far to long."
There was also an account of "screaming that he's not breathing and someone doing resus[citation]".
One resident also posted direct message threats she had allegedly received from another Pukemiro member.
"It aint everyone's business...thats ok...you laugh away..but just make sure when you go to sleep at nights that your doors n windows are locked," the womansaid she was sent.
Many of the Pukemiro residents spoken to attested to a series of burglaries in the otherwise sleepy town over recent years.
Police say no one had yet been charged.
Cordons remain in place.
Anyone who has information about the incident is urged to call Waikato Police
on 07 858 6200 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Police would like to thank the public in advance for their assistance.