Gangs and Guns

Armed Police arrest 4 men after Ōtaki clash

By Alan Trtistram

Four people have been arrested and charged with firearms offences by Police following an altercation between rival gangs in Otaki.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant David Thompson, of Palmerston North CIB, says armed Police from Levin and Otaki responded after a number of shots were reportedly fired at the Waitohi Road property in Otaki yesterday. No-one was injured during the incident.

Det. S/Sgt Thompson says: “It is concerning at any time when firearms are used, but even more so when they are used in a residential area where there is potential for innocent members of the public to be hurt or worse. It’s lucky that we are not dealing with something more serious.”

He says that while the altercation appears to have been an isolated incident, Police are continuing to maintain a strong presence in the area as they work to resolve the situation.

Mr Thompson says the four men, all understood to be in their 20s, are appearing in the Levin District Court on the firearms charges.

A firearm has since been recovered, he says. A scene examination involving ESR firearm experts was also underway to try and determine what occurred.

“In the meantime,” he says,” We are continuing our inquiries into the events leading up to the incident, and are keen to hear from anyone with information that might be relevant.

“Police are specifically interested in any sightings of vehicles in Waitohi Valley Road, Otaki between 9.00am and 9.30am yesterday (24 October). We believe these vehicles would have left the area at speed, so are hopeful that someone may have seen or heard something and we encourage them to come forward.”

Anyone with information should contact Levin Police on (06) 366 0500, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers ph 0800 555 111.