Detectives are examining six crime scenes in Taumarunui after
the arrest of a teenager charged with a string of serious
offending, including allegedly shooting at a family with a
The local 19-year-old's alleged offending started about 8am
and ended with his arrest in the small central North Island
town this afternoon.
Police later said they had charged the 19-year-old Taumarunui
man with unlawfully taking a motor vehicle. Other serious
charges were pending.
He is due to appear in Taumarunui District Court tomorrow.
"We are relieved to confirm that no one has sustained any
injuries from the man's actions,'' Ruapehu/Whanganui area
commander Inspector Steve Mastrovich said.
"During the man's offending we believe he has threatened
members of the public with weapons and shots have been fired.
"The investigation is on-going and we are still conducting
scene and talking to witnesses to piece together what has
happened over the area between Raurimu, Whakahoro, and
Taumarunui in the early hours of the morning up until
mid-morning on Sunday 10, February.''
The arrested man's grandfather said he had been trying to get
the teen on the "straight and narrow".
The grandfather, of Raurimu, said police would be speaking
with him tonight about his grandson's alleged offences.
He said his grandson's mother was "startled" at today's
The teen was born in Taumarunui but was living with his
grandparents at Raurimu since December, after living on a
dairy farm near Taupo.
The grandfather said his grandson owned a replica AK47, which
shot BB pellets, and he hoped that was the weapon he was
using today rather than a real weapon.
But he said his grandson would be facing a lot of questions.
"He's been through a pretty bad life...so we were trying to
put him on the straight and narrow."
Today's troubles may have stemmed from a difficult
upbringing, he said.
Police had not done a good job in communicating with him
about the charges he faced, the grandfather said.
Mr Mastrovich said officers had secured six crime scenes in
"a variety of locations" and were interviewing a range of
witnesses to piece together the teenager's movements.
"We believe the man has committed several serious offences in
a number of different locations, including discharging a
firearm in an unsafe manner," Mr Mastrovich said.
Jason Dickinson was staying with his wife and baby daughter
at his parents' place on Miro St when the teenager came to
the door asking to use the phone to call a car yard because
he had crashed nearby.
Mr Dickinson said he seemed polite but once inside he
allegedly pulled a knife on his father, Rod Dickinson, and
stole one of the cars parked at the house.
The shocked family watched the offender drive away and called
police while at the front of the home.
Mr Dickinson said he was believed to have stolen fuel from a
nearby petrol station and then driven back past the family
"The guy went back past with my car that he'd stolen and he
stopped up the road and let a bullet off," Mr Dickinson said.
"He stopped and pointed it at us and told us he would blow
our f****** heads off.
"It was pretty crazy s***.
"He slowed right down and jumped out of the vehicle and
pulled out the rifle and let a shot off ... and then he took
off back into town."
Mr Dickinson said his family was shaken up by the incident.
"I'm just happy my wife and daughter are all right," he said.
There were earlier reports that three people were shot but an
ambulance spokesman said paramedics called to the scene were
stood down without being needed.
The armed offenders squad had cordoned off areas of the town
while the teen was being pursued.
Local woman Gemma Carlyle said the Central Park Motor Inn was
forced into lockdown by police patrolling the area.
"I was scared. There were [a lot] of police and then there
were the dogs and everything," she said.
"We had to stay inside and close all the doors."
Mr Mastrovich said cordons were later lifted and police were
not looking for anyone else in relation to the offending.
The arrested man was in custody and "will appear before the
courts shortly", Mr Mastrovich said.
Police have appealed for witnesses to contact officers.
Anyone with information should call Taumarunui Police on 07
895 8119 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.