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Gun In Shooting Linked To Illegally Sold Firearms

Gun In Fatal Shooting Linked To Illegally Sold Firearms

New Zealand Police Waikato News Release
1:48pm 24 November 2008

Forensic tests have established a firearm recovered at the scene of a fatal shooting in Whangamata in September was not the same weapon that killed the victim.

Detective Sergeant Glenn Tinsley of Waihi CIB said Police investigating the death of Nigel Lurman, 41, who died at Whangamata on 9 September as a result of a gunshot wound to the head, searched a number of properties in Whangamata last Thursday.

"At the time of the original enquiry a .22 cal rifle was removed from the scene however as a result of forensic tests it was established this wasn't the weapon responsible for Mr Lurman's death.

"As a result of this a large team of staff from across the Waikato and two units from the Auckland based Specialist Search Team searched four separate Whangamata addresses."

The fatal shooting is currently the subject of a coronial enquiry.

Thursday's searches uncovered small quantities of cannabis, methamphetamine, ammunition, a loaded .22 cal rifle and a .22 cal pistol.

"We believe it was the pistol that was used in the fatal shooting," said Mr Tinsley.

"We've been able to confirm this weapon is one of a large number of restricted firearms previously reported as having been stolen in a bogus burglary by a Hahei gun collector John Mabey."

Mr Tinsley said Thursday's discovery further reinforced the Waikato Police's concern's about the correlation between the illicit drug and illegal firearms trades in the region.

Following Thursday's discoveries a 45yr old Whangamata man will appear in the Waihi District Court tomorrow facing unlawful possession of a pistol and conspiring to pervert the course of justice charges.

"Two Whangamata women, a 43yr old and a 33 yr old, will also appear on charges of conspiring to pervert the course of justice," said Mr Tinsley.

"A fourth person, a 56yr old Whangamata man, will be appear on charges of possession of cannabis and methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a .22 cal rifle."

A 35-year-old Whangamata woman remains at large and is wanted in respect of methamphetamine which was located at one of the addresses.

ENDS

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