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Locals fed up after gunfight

Published: 6:06AM Wednesday January 30, 2008 Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

A suspected tinnie house at the centre of a dramatic gunfight in Manukau City on Tuesday night is still under police guard.

The gang shooting in the suburb of Flat Bush injured two men and they have now been charged.

In yet another violent attack in South Auckland the armed offenders squad cordoned off a street after a gunfight broke out. Police then had to chase the victims to Middlemore Hospital where two gunshot victims were dropped off, one of them with a critical head wound. The second man is nursing a minor gun shot wound to his leg.

The Armed Offenders Squad cordoned off Othello Drive and scared neighbours were evacuated to safer areas. The incident has shaken up the neighbourhood with locals saying they have had enough.

Witnesses told ONE News a number of shots from sawn off shotguns were fired at the house and the people in the house then fired back.

"I've got two kids who live in Manurewa who were like three or four streets away from the stabbing up there - I'm terrified for my kids - absolutely terrified," one woman told ONE News.

Armed police surrounded the house after a shootout between gangs. At least eight shots were fired and the situation escalated when two cars sped off to Middlemore Hospital....alarming eyewitnesses.

"Staggered through, got about three quarters of the way through the emergency room which was about a metre and a quarter from me, at which point he was tackled by a policeman," Robert Charteris said.

The Othello Drive property is a known tinny house occupied by members of the Killer Bees gang and the attack is believed to be triggered by a gang fight over turf.

After a week of violence in Manukau City, including two murders, the traditional Labour voting area says it is time the government got tough on crime. Locals are calling for tougher laws because "innocent people are getting hurt".

Police Minister Annette King and Manukau Mayor Len Brown visited the crime scene on Wednesday.

"People can be reassured that there is the police attention on this issue, the government attention but also the community are partners that are involved," King says.

But some residents have had enough and are getting out.

"It's driving out families that have been in this area for a long time, people that are trying to get their kids right, trying to make a living and this stuff happens so yes I'd prefer to take my kids out of this environment, one woman told ONE News.

The two men who ended up at Middlemore Hospital have been arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

Police say the men, aged 27 and 29, have been remanded in custody and are likely to face further charges. Police say they will oppose bail for the pair when they appear in the Manukau District Court.

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