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Birthday Celebration Tragedy For Homicide Victim

Birthday Celebration Tragedy For Homicide Victim
New Zealand Police National News Release
3:54pm 8 December 2007

A young man's birthday celebration ended in tragedy when he died in Kenepuru Hospital a short time after he was stabbed in an unprovoked attack in Cannons Creek, Porirua early this morning.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam, head of Porirua CIB, said Fitzgerald Risati, known as Fitz to his family and friends, was 24 yesterday. His younger brother, Risati Risati, 21, is in Wellington Hospital with a non life threatening wound to his back.

Police are still looking for the person or people responsible for the attack, and the four-door possibly grey coloured car they fled the scene in.

Detective Senior Sergeant Oxnam said a post mortem will be held tomorrow to determine the cause of death.

He said the two Risati brothers and five friends had been enjoying a birthday celebration at home in Cannons Creek when early this morning they decided to go into the Porirua centre.

The group went to the Cannons Creek shops where they called a taxi. While they waited at the taxi stand they saw three men walking up Champion Street towards the shopping centre.

"At this point a car drove into the shopping centre and stopped behind the taxi stand," Detective Senior Sergeant Oxnam said. "At least three and possibly four people were in the car. One man got out of the front passenger seat of the car, shouted at the Risati brothers and their friends, and then attacked them.

"We don't know why this frenzied attack in which two people were stabbed happened. It appears to be entirely unprovoked," Detective Senior Sergeant Oxnam said. "The victims were fine young men who are not gang members. They were going about their lawful business and enjoying a 24th birthday celebration."

The attackers left the scene in possibly a grey coloured car. They and the car have not been seen since.

Police are appealing for information from people who might have witnessed the attack, or who know who was responsible. The only description currently available is that the man who first got out of the vehicle was a fat Maori or Polynesian.

Detective Senior Sergeant Oxnam said it's too early to say if the people in the car were linked to the three men who had walked up Champion Street towards the shops.

A police forensic examination at the scene is expected to continue tonight. "We're mindful of the impact this is having on businesses who have had to stay shut today. We need to get as much forensic evidence from crime scenes before we re-open them. I'm hoping that shops will re-open tomorrow.

"All violent attacks, particularly those which are unprovoked and result in a death, are of concern to police," he said. "It's appalling that one man died. A family has lost one son, and another is injured.

"We're determined that with community help and a solid investigation this homicide will be solved."

People who have information that will assist the inquiry are asked to call the investigation base at Porirua Police Station on: 04 238 1400 or 0800 Solv It : 0800 765 8348.


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