The man accused of murdering Scott Guy told police he dropped everything and rushed to the scene when he heard the news his brother in law was dead.
Ewen Macdonald's first statement to police was read in court today. It revealed Macdonald had also thought he was meant to be the intended victim.
He has denied murdering Guy by shooting him twice in the driveway of his home on July 8, 2010.
The Crown claims Macdonald murdered Guy against a backdrop of tension over the future of both men at the Feilding farm. He is on trial at the High Court in Wellington.
As Guy's dead body lay in front of him at the farm's entrance, Macdonald told police he asked himself, "was it meant for me?"
He put his theory to police who began a wide-ranging investigation looking for the killer.
"Drugs, burglaries, we were looking at any criminal associations, those sorts of things, extra-marital affairs," Detective Sergeant David Thompson told the court.
"All those inquiries came to zero."
Police had drawn up a list of 60 possible suspects, but their attention turned to Macdonald after a friend of his tipped them off that he might have been involved in a graffiti attack on a Scott Guy property.
Macdonald has admitted he was responsible for the graffiti, but earlier lied in a police statement blaming kids for the damage.
A rough-looking man smelling of alcohol and cigarettes who was looking for Scott Guy in the days before he was shot was never found, Thompson told the court today.
Scott's neighbour, David Berry, said in evidence last week that the man had come to his house looking for Scott.
Under cross-examination Thompson, the officer in charge of the suspects for the investigation, told defence lawyer Peter Coles the man had never been found.
Police also did not identify a car in the river that Scott had made a 111 call about four days before his death.
Thompson told Coles there had been 181 burglaries in the area in the period leading up to the murder and seven of them involved the theft of firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Thompson was unable to say what, exactly, had been recovered. The defence claims another weapon and another man killed Scott Guy.
The missing puppies
Earlier, Thompson said three missing chocolate labrador puppies on the Guy farm raised the possibility Scott had been killed in a burglary or theft gone wrong.
He received the information about the missing puppies the day after the fatal shooting.
Police could not find a trend to any of the burglaries in the area or a connection to Scott being killed.
"Nothing stood out,'' he said.
He said the suspect pool was split into family, workers, persons of interest and possible burglars. The court heard suspects were identified and ruled out by the police team investigating the shooting, with tip-offs coming from the public.
Police chased alibis for the names mentioned.
Thompson said some could not have killed Guy because they were committing other crimes.
Because police were checking where people were, others were charged with crimes unrelated to the murder investigation.
Eleven unrelated burglaries were solved during the inquiry and 60 people were cleared as suspects.
Thompson said police also investigated speculation that Guy was murdered after finding a crop of cannabis on the family farm.
The court heard officers spoke to all of the workers, ex-workers, family and general contractors from the farm.
Thompson said a couple of small cannabis plants and a small
amount of the drug were found in a cottage, but they were