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Woman tried to save Taranaki shooting victim

Published: 5:34AM Monday April 16, 2012 Source: ONE News

A woman who tried to resuscitate a shooting victim in rural Taranaki yesterday said there was not much she could have done to save her.

Police were called to the home of the 50-year-old woman in Okoki, inland from Urenui, at 3.30pm yesterday and were told that she had died in a house following a shooting.

A 13-year-old boy has appeared in New Plymouth Youth Court this afternoon charged with the woman's murder.

Most of the details surrounding the case that will lead to the identity of the boy have been suppressed because of the age of the accused, including the victim's name and the school the teen attended.

Stacey Ball was nearby when the shooting occurred.

"I just walked in and helped as much as I could."

She told ONE News she did not know the victim but had tried to resuscitate her.

However, she said: "there's not much I could have done about it."

The 13-year-old murder-accused has been remanded in Child, Youth and Family care until April 20.

Community reeling

The small community in Otoki is reeling following the shooting.

Local Tracey Davis told ONE News she was "shocked" when she heard about the shooting.

"You move out to the country for lifestyle and for peace and quiet and you hear of shootings happening in New Zealand but it's not really a common thing and then it's 5km down the road."

"I think the whole thing is pretty sad. It's a tragedy."

Another resident Elsie Hagley said: "This is a terrible thing to happen in our little valley."

She said it took her hours to get to sleep last night and said she was "just lying there and not really knowing who it was".

"They were the perfect neighbours we had no cause to believe there was anything wrong.

"I could not imagine what could have possibly gone wrong for that to happen."

Her husband, John Hagley, described the shooting victim as a "nice person" who was "very friendly".

The victim's family have been left devastated by the shooting.

"[The woman's] loved ones are naturally very distressed as are others who know the young boy," Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward said.

Boy known to CYF

Marama Edwards, Operations General Manager for Child, Youth and Family (CYF), said the organisation had been working with the teenager and his family, but he was not in the care of CYF at the time of the incident.

"This is an immensely distressing time for the family and our thoughts are with them," Edwards said.

Edwards said it was likely he would be placed with CYF in a secure youth justice residence.

Coward said the victim was well known and liked in the local community. She has a partner and three adult daughters.

Forensic examinations continue at the house this evening and will continue tomorrow.

The victim's body has now been removed from scene and will go to Palmerston North for a post mortem tomorrow. 

"We know that this very distressful situation is affecting many people in the local community, some of whom went to [the woman's] assistance," Coward told TV ONE's Breakfast.

It is understood a firearm has been recovered from the scene, which has been cordoned off.

Police are appealing for any sightings of a white Ford Telstar between Okoki and Waitara yesterday afternoon.

Edwards said CYF will continue to work with the police as their investigation continues.