Gang drive-by shooting: Stray bullet ricocheted off van, through garage, into wardrobe

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 May 2022, 8:31pm
(Photo / Hayden Woodward)
(Photo / Hayden Woodward)

Gang drive-by shooting: Stray bullet ricocheted off van, through garage, into wardrobe

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 May 2022, 8:31pm

The victim of a gang-related drive-by shooting could be heard screaming "f***, my kids are here" as his Flat Bush house was sprayed with bullets last night. 

An innocent resident directly opposite the targeted house on Glen Osborne Terrace also found a bullet in the walk-in wardrobe of his bedroom following the shooting before 7pm last night. 

The South Auckland property was one of seven across the city targeted on Tuesday night and early on Wednesday morning amid ongoing tensions between the Killer Beez and Tribesmen gangs. 

Upon closer inspection the next day, the path of the stray bullet into neighbour's appeared to have ricocheted off a van in the driveway, into the garage, then through to the walk-in wardrobe. 

Resident Jimmy Tamaki said he was watching the news when the shooting occurred. 

"I heard it last night but it wasn't until this morning that I realised it went into our place," Tamaki said. "I thought it was fireworks." 

"There's three of us in here. It's eye-opening. Just caught in the crossfire, [it's] too close to home. It literally hit my house. I think there's some bullet holes in the fence as well." 

On Wednesday afternoon, the Glen Osborne Terrace property attacked was being guarded by a pair of police officers with assault rifles. 

Several other officers in marked and unmarked police cars came and went from the house over the course of an hour at about 3pm. 

Despite renting the property with other housemates, Tamaki says he's not planning on leaving the area - but admits "it's a bit concerning". 

"I know I wasn't targeted," he said. 

Seventy-eight-year-old great grandmother Dawn King lives just two doors down from Tamaki and said she knows the father of the young family who live in the house that was fired at. 

King describes the father, who she admits has gang affiliations and has done time in prison, as a "nice bloke" who often comforts her grandson with autism who lives with her. 

King said three cars were involved in the attack last night, and rang police because she thought a child had been shot in the house. 

"Because they were firing at the houses I thought they might have killed some kid or something," King said. 

The 78-year-old who has lived in the street for 12 years said the same house on Glen Osborne Terrace was also shot at over the weekend. 

"I feel sorry for him because he's very nice," King said. 

"Whenever I have trouble with my grandson who has autism, he's got epilepsy and he gets quite stressed out. He came over last time and gave him $40 to go and buy some cigarettes, and calmed him down." 

King said a young family lives in the house that she thought included three children. 

"He teaches the kids how to ride motorbikes. 

Superintendent Jill Rogers confirmed on Wednesday police believe the shootings involved the Tribesmen and the Killer Beez, and said they are understood to be linked to others earlier in the week. 

Rogers said there have been 12 firearms offences across the city since Sunday. 

No arrests have been made after seven shootings beginning on Tuesday evening. Rogers also confirmed that a district-wide order was made last night for all officers in Auckland to be armed. The order has since ended. 

Five of the properties targeted in shootings overnight have in the past had links to gangs, but two of the addresses had no links currently to gangs. 

Rogers believed that a number of the weapons used were high-powered rifles, which carry an "enormous" risk to the community. 

"These are family homes with children." 

Auckland investigators were working with officers in Northland to determine if there were links between incidents in the two areas. 

In the coming days, communities of the areas impacted would notice a high police presence. 

King said the Flat Bush house targeted across the road from her is a family home with kids constantly playing out the front. Another neighbour also described the kids as good-natured. 

King in particular was concerned for the father who she believed did have gang affiliations in his past. 

However, she described him as a friendly neighbourhood figure. 

"The boys heard the bullets from inside, but I'd come outside to get the rubbish tin. They were over there evidently," King said. 

"I was out there by the back door of the garage and I heard the shooting so I thought I'm not going to go out there and let them see me. I'll look through the window. I climbed on the bunk bed and I was watching." 

"That's how I know that bloke [the father] ... He came out of the house soon as the shooting happened. He was saying '****, my kids are here' to I think whoever was shooting, or telling the people in the house. 

"He's probably done a few things in his time but he's a nice bloke." 

- by Tom Dillane, NZ Herald