ZB

Man admits four south Auckland drive-by shootings in five days

Author
Craig Kapitan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 May 2022, 12:23pm
A series of shootings heightened tensions in Ōtara, South Auckland, in November 2020. (Photo / Dean Purcell)
A series of shootings heightened tensions in Ōtara, South Auckland, in November 2020. (Photo / Dean Purcell)

Man admits four south Auckland drive-by shootings in five days

Author
Craig Kapitan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 May 2022, 12:23pm

A south Auckland man has pleaded guilty to participating in four drive-by shootings in just five days.

Michael Crawford, 26, appeared before Justice Sally Fitzgerald today in the High Court at Auckland as he admitted to targeting houses on one Ōtara street on November 16, 2020, then targeting three other streets on the 20th of that month.

No one was injured in the shootings, but the charges noted that Crawford knew or ought to have known his actions would put lives in danger.

He also pleaded guilty to being in possession of 71 shotgun cartridges, an "AK-47-like" rifle and material for explosives, as well as to entering a building with a firearm to commit assault and to participating in an organised criminal group.

The cluster of shootings last year left Ōtara residents on edge, and prompted Superintendent Jill Rogers, the Counties Manukau District Commander, to deploy extra officers to the area from across Auckland.

"We know the recent firearms incidents in south Auckland this weekend have caused concern and worry in the community," she said at the time, adding that officers would be temporarily armed as a precaution.

Crawford is set to be sentenced in July, at which point the Crown has agreed to drop four more charges.