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Operation Kenny Release 6

New Zealand Police National News Release
3:27pm 23 January 2008

Operation Kenny Release 6

23 January 2008

Flyers requesting further witnesses to come forward will be distributed to Katikati and Waihi business today as Police seek more information on how many shots a gunman fired before he himself was shot during an incident in Waihi on Monday.

The 19-year-old gunman was travelling as a passenger in a van driven by an 18-year-old woman that was stolen during a burglary in Ngongotaha and was being pursued by Police towards Waihi.

During the pursuit the gunman is alleged to have leant out the front passenger window of the van and fired shots at his pursuers.

Two patrol cars were hit by bullets during the chase and a loaded .22cal rifle was recovered from where the gunman was shot after pointing his gun at Police.

The second in command of Operation Kenny, Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Nicholls, said new information received suggests the gunman hadn't only shot at Police south of Waihi and then on the streets of the small gold mining town, but possibly earlier as well.

"We're looking into the possibility shots may have been fired from the van as it went through Katikati and we're not ruling out if any more were fired before that."

Several empty cartridge cases were recovered from the van and the vehicle's owner told Police they weren't there before the van was stolen.

The Rotorua woman driving the van was arrested following questioning Monday night and appeared in the Tauranga District Court charged with burglary, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, driving while forbidden, dangerous driving and failing to stop, all relating to Monday's events.

The gunman was taken to Waikato Hospital after being shot, undergoing extensive surgery Monday night and he is recovering in the hospital's intensive care unit under Police guard.

He is currently in a stable condition.

Police have yet to charge the man and Mr Nicholls said it may be some time before investigators can speak to him.

Anyone who may have heard shots being fired in Monday's pursuit, or who witnessed the shooting who has not yet been spoken to by Police should contact the investigation team on 07 863 3700.


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