The young man who sparked a day-long manhunt in Raetihi and Ohakune last August has died.

Dolphy Kohu died on Friday in prison. He was due back in court in March.

Whanganui Prison director Reti Pearse said staff found an inmate in an unresponsive state on Friday afternoon and provided medical attention, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The death has been referred to the coroner and is subject to investigation by Corrections and police.

The August 19 incident began in Whanganui and ended with arrests in Waiouru.


Kohu, 24 at the time, was charged with two counts of attempted murder - or two alternative charges of using a firearm against a law enforcement officer - failing to stop, two counts of reckless driving, endangering transport, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, and unlawfully possessing a pistol, explosives, and utensils for meth.

He was said to have driven into a police car and shot at two officers. Five others faced associated charges, but most of those have since been dropped.

In 2012 Kohu shot at a family in Whanganui's Hylton St, and in 2008 he was involved in an aggravated robbery at the Pylon Dairy.

He was schooled in the Waimarino, and Ruapehu College teachers said they were "gutted" at the news of his August offending and arrest.

They believed he was "a good kid" with a promising future.

A death notice in Monday's Chronicle said a service for Kohu would be held at Takarangi St, Whanganui, tomorrow.