Pair arrested after takeaway killing

Davinder Singh (left) and his wife, Amandeep Kaur. Photo / Supplied
Davinder Singh (left) and his wife, Amandeep Kaur. Photo / Supplied
Two people charged with the murder of Auckland man Davender Singh will be allowed to keep their names secret until next week.

A 31-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man were arrested last night and appeared in Manukau District Court this morning.

They were both remanded in custody in and will reappear in the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday.

Davender Singh, 35, of Papatoetoe, was found in a vehicle on Norman Spencer Drive.

He had been stabbed a number of times by a male attacker, after he and his partner had pulled over to eat takeaways on their way home from work, police said yesterday.

Family friend Harjot Chhinzar said everyone was shocked about the "brutal" murder.

"What happened was really, really sad, most of all we are all in shock. He was a really good guy, a down to earth person and was killed for nothing ... Nobody deserves this," he said.

Chhinzar said he came to court this morning because he wanted to see who was accused of killing his friend.

"I desperately wanted to see who [allegedly] killed him, you know, why did they do it?"

He said he will attend all court appearances because he wants to see justice for Singh.

A 28-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman have since been arrested, Detective Inspector Dave Lynch of Counties Manukau police said this morning.

However, Mr Lynch said the investigation is still in its early stages.

The motive for the murder was not robbery, police said today.

A statement from police said media reports suggesting Mr Singh's death was related to a robbery were incorrect.

"It should be noted that police are satisfied that robbery was not the motive," the statement said.

"Police are still appealing for witnesses and we ask that anyone who drove down Norman Spencer Drive between 7.20pm and 7.45pm on Thursday night that might have seen Mr Singh's car parked outside the Manaukau Events Centre please come forward to police," he said.

The murder weapon - believed to be a knife - had yet to be recovered, he said.

"We have received a large volume of information that needs to be analysed and there is a significant amount of forensic testing to be completed which may take several days," Mr Lynch said.

"We are well aware that the investigation has attracted intense interest within the Indian community and we ask that people stay patient and allow police time to work through an investigation and fact-finding process."

Police are not seeking anyone else in relation to Mr Singh's death, he said.

Last night, police were interviewing his distraught wife, Amandeep Kaur, who was alongside him when he was killed.

They were on their way home from work and had stopped to eat a takeaway meal when the attack occurred.

"It is evident that at the time Mr Singh was murdered, a large number of vehicles, including a number of buses, passed the vehicle," Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said.

"Mr Singh's got a lot of wounds so there's definitely an indication of a violent struggle that's occurred in and around the vehicle."

Mr Singh's family say he had no enemies and believe his killing is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Last night, Mrs Kaur was at Manukau police station being interviewed by detectives. Earlier, police had said she was too distressed to tell them what had happened, other than that the attacker was a man.

Cousin Sandeep Singh, 28, told One News he believed it was an armed robbery gone wrong and that Mrs Kaur was desperately trying to save her husband.

She suffered cuts on her hand during the attack, he said. "She was crying and saying, 'Someone cut his neck'."

However, police have now confirmed the incident was not a robbery.

Shocked members of the Sikh community gathered yesterday at Mr Singh's home in Papatoetoe to await updates from police.

"We are absolutely in shock," family spokesman Daljit Singh said, "but our moral duty is to help her [Mrs Kaur] to cope."

Daljit Singh said the couple had a 10-year-old son, who was living with relatives in India.

The couple had been trying to save money to send back to family.

"Davender was a quiet, sweet young man," Daljit Singh said. "We don't know what happened, who is involved or what the motivations behind the incident was."

He said Davender Singh came from Rajasthan seven years ago and had been working as an upholsterer at DS Furniture in Mangere.

He and Mrs Kaur decided to send their son back to India to be cared for by their extended family as they wanted to focus on their careers.

Tajinder Singh, owner and director of DS Furniture, described Davender Singh as an "excellent employee", respectful, and a "really good guy".

"He finished work [on Thursday] and that was the last time we saw him, until I got a call late that night from one of the other co-workers telling me that he'd been stabbed."

The business was closed yesterday.

 

 

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