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'Our boy...tragically taken': Man killed in Gisborne brawl was celebrating 21st birthday

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 25 Mar 2024, 4:13PM

'Our boy...tragically taken': Man killed in Gisborne brawl was celebrating 21st birthday

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 25 Mar 2024, 4:13PM

A young man who was meant to be celebrating his 21st birthday has been identified as one of the victims in the 100 person brawl in Gisborne that ended with two men dead and three taken to hospital with critical stab wounds.

Friends and family members of Chrysler Stevens-Mark paid tribute to the 21-year-old who was killed in the gathering that got out of hand on Lytton Rd on Saturday night.

In a Facebook post, a family member said “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our Boy, our Little Cuzzy, our Little brother ... who was tragically taken from us in what was supposed to be his special night!”

“My aunty, my uncs and our little cousins we love yous so much, we will be here every step!”

Police forensics are still on the scene at Lytton Rd and cordons remain in place as investigations continue into the massive disorder event after a 21st birthday party on Saturday night.

A resident who lived near the address of the party, who spoke to NZME on the condition of anonymity, said she heard screaming about 11.30pm and stepped outside to see what was going on.

“I just heard all the screaming. Women screaming. I came out and saw everybody on the road and they were just all in one pack. It was hard to identify who was who in the dark.”

She wasn’t sure about numbers of people involved, but said it was a lot of people.

Gisborne Councillor Colin Alder told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking Breakfast he has it on reasonably good authority gangs are involved, but “they are not at war, as such”.

“It was an unfortunate event at a party where alcohol and possible drugs were involved... who takes a knife to a party?”

A 29-year-old man will appear in court on charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Police Minister Mark Mitchell is urging people in the Gisborne community not to consider retaliation and a local councillor said “there is no future in utu [to pay back]”.

Inspector Darren Paki said police received a number of calls about a “mass disorder” occurring at an address in Gisborne at 11.30pm on Saturday.

A large fight had broken out on to the street and additional staff as well as the Armed Offenders Squad were called in for back-up.

“We understand the fight had broken out after two uninvited guests [who] arrived at a whānau gathering,” Paki said.

Two victims were located upon police arrival and police staff attempted to provide emergency medical assistance, but both men were later confirmed deceased, Paki said.

Three others are currently in hospital with injuries believed to be caused by a stabbing.

“Police from around the district and surrounding areas have been called to boost our staffing numbers for reassurance,” Paki said.

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