St Leonards is a close-knit community in shock.
Residents are mourning the ''terrible and horrific'' deaths
of Bradley (9) and Ellen (6) Livingstone, who were found dead
at their Kiwi St home on Wednesday night.
Also found dead inside the house was a 51-year-old man,
believed to be Edward Hamilton Livingstone, the children's
Police have not confirmed the man's identity, nor what his
relationship to the children was.
The children's 49-year-old mother, believed to be Katharine
Livingstone, was at home with them on Wednesday night when
gunshots were heard and police called.
She fled to a neighbour's house.
The dead man was her estranged husband.
Their relationship ended last May.
Police said the mother was home at the time and ''information
indicates that she was able to leave the address and get to a
The neighbour was spoken to by police yesterday morning, but
declined to comment publicly about the incident.
He told the Otago Daily Times he would not comment
''out of respect for the deceased''.
It was suggested he had gone to the Livingstone children's
home and wrestled with the gunman, but police would not
confirm that claim.
Police said the dead man, who had twice been charged with
breaching a Domestic Violence Act protection order, lived in
Milton until ''very recently''.
The exact circumstances of his living arrangements since then
were still being determined.
They confirmed the man did not have a firearms licence, and
were investigating how he gained possession of the shotgun
He was a ''non-custodial'' administrator at the Otago
Corrections Facility in Milburn.
Dunedin Clutha Waitaki Area Commander Inspector Greg Sparrow
said police and Christchurch ESR staff started a forensic
examination of the house yesterday.
The scene examination was expected to take a couple of days.
Police also canvassed neighbours, he said.
It was expected the three bodies would be removed from the
house yesterday evening and taken for postmortem
examinations, he said.
About 15 staff are working on the investigation.
Neighbours told the Otago Daily Times yesterday it was
a quiet, friendly community.
A woman who had lived in Kiwi St for more than 40 years said
it was the first time anything sinister had occurred in the
''It's a shock to have this kind of thing on your doorstep,''
It was believed the Livingstones had lived in Kiwi St for
Many residents were visibly upset and declined to comment.
One woman said her children were classmates of Bradley and
Another said their deaths were ''terrible and horrific''.
A resident said his pet dog often wandered down the street to
play with Bradley and Ellen, whom he said were ''lovely''.
The Livingstone children had just started learning to sail,
Another neighbour said she heard three bangs on Wednesday
night and thought it was fireworks.
''I heard a bang, and then a bang and a little bit later
Bradley and Ellen attended the three-classroom St Leonards
School, which has a roll of 68. Principal Jo Wilson said St
Leonards parents and children were comforting one another.
''It's a small community and a small school, and we all know
each other very well.''
She opened the school premises yesterday for those who wanted
company and to comfort others.
''There's already been a lot of parents and children in, just
looking after each other, and that's what we'll continue to
do. The Ministry of Education has offered support and
information about agencies we can contact when we need to,''
Mrs Wilson said people would seek help when they were ready.
''People will grieve in their own ways and as long as people
know it's available to them, the best thing for everyone is
to keep talking and know we are here,'' she said.
The school would also be open today, she said.
She said she had spoken to Katharine Livingstone.
''She's going to let us know, when she's sorted everything
out, what she wants the school to do [as a tribute],'' Ms
''We will be doing something for them but we want to talk
together [with Mrs Livingstone] and see what we can do.''
Staff at Work and Income New Zealand, where Mrs Livingstone
worked, were devastated and shocked, deputy chief executive
Debbie Power said.
''As you can appreciate, staff thoughts have been with
Katharine and her family. We're all devastated and shocked,
and everyone who knows her will need time and space to deal
with this tragedy,'' she said.
The office was temporarily closed yesterday morning so
management could talk to staff and offer them support.
''Over the coming days, people will be considering the best
ways of supporting Katharine and her wider family and
friends, in ways that will make a real difference for her. We
will also support our colleagues as they come to terms with
what has happened,'' Ms Power said.
- Additional reporting APNZ