Ashburton WINZ shooting and Northland “explosive device” incident [UPDATED]

Just to stop people from commenting on non-relevant threads, this is a General Debate-ish type post for you to exchange information and comment on the absolutely insane happenings out there today.

By: APNZScarlett CvitanovichJessica McCarthy, and Newstalk ZB staffLatest Crime News | Monday September 1 2014 10:33

Police scene outside Ashburton (NZ Herald)

Police scene outside Ashburton (NZ Herald)

UPDATED 12:25pm: Two people have been confirmed dead after a shooting at the Ashburton Work and Income office this morning.

A third person is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

A full police response has been deployed.

Residents in Ashburton are asked to stay indoors while the situation is still ongoing.

A man entered the office just after 10am and fired a gun, police said.

The man, who was reportedly wearing a balaclava and carrying a shotgun, left on a bike afterwards and was this morning still on the loose.

Schools and early childhood centres are keeping children inside until further notice.

The Ministry of Education says it’s contacted all schools in the area and they have been prompt in keeping children safe.

A hockey tournament at Ashburton College has been cancelled.

Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) officers from Christchurch were sent to the scene, police confirmed.

A second cordon was set up down by Ashburton River and armed police ran down the riverbank about 11:30am, locals said.

A mobile command unit has been set up.

A witness who was in the building at the time said a man wearing a black balaclava entered and shot two women, one of whom was interviewing him at the time.

He believed they were both WINZ staff members.

“It was incredibly loud, I could feel the air whoosh past my head,” he said.

He followed the man outside.

“He must have broken the gun down because he put it in his back pack,” the witness said.

Two other people who had just left the WINZ building saw a man wearing a balaclava and carrying a shotgun enter the premises.

Soon after they heard two shots.

A woman, also believed to be a staff member ran out and shouted at them to call the police, before running into the nearby medical centre.

They said the man’s bike had been chained up on a street corner.

He headed east on Moore Street, leaving his bike helmet on the street.

A postie at a business across the road heard the man screaming and swearing as he left the building.

A staff member at an automotive garage across the road from the Work and Income office said she wasn’t aware of any incident until she went outside for morning tea break and saw a cordon around the building.

“There were a couple of ambos and police there with a big cordon but other than that we didn’t know it had happened.”

and, via Voxy

Police have located an explosive device in the house where the fatal fire occurred at Mangamuka early this morning.

About 2.30pm yesterday police received reports of a firearm being discharged from a property at Mangamuka following a dispute over a trespass matter.

The Armed Offenders Squad was called in and began negotiating with the occupier of the address.

About 12.30am this morning a fire was noticed inside the house.

AOS attempted to enter the address to rescue the occupant.

However, they had to pull back due to a number of explosions.

The Fire Service attended and once the fire was put out police were able to enter the house.

They located a body inside the house.

Northland Police Criminal Investigations Manager Inspector Kevin Burke says the explosive device, believed to be a grenade, was found when police entered the house.

Mr Burke says the New Zealand Defence Force Bomb Disposal Unit is now on its way from Auckland to dispose of the grenade and check that the house is safe before police can carry out a scene examination.

Cordons remain in place around the property.

 


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