Armed Offenders Squad members return to the Ashburton
Police Station after apprehending Russell John Tully.
Photo: NZ Herald/Mark Mitchell
Police investigating the Work and Income murders had
possession of alleged shooter Russell John Tully's gun for two
days before telling the public they had located it, a source
close to the probe says.
Tully, 48, was detained after a seven-hour manhunt 15km from
the Ashburton Winz centre where it's alleged he gunned down
The sawn-off shotgun police believe he used in the shootings
was found "very close" to Tully when he was brought down by
police dogs, the source said.
Witnesses have told how the gunman is alleged to have broken
down the gun after Monday morning's bloodbath, placed it
inside a backpack, and cycled off.
The following day, Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald,
Canterbury district investigations manager, confirmed that
Tully did not have a firearms licence.
But it wasn't until the following day that police released a
statement saying they had found the alleged firearm.
Asked why it took police 48 hours to tell the public they
knew where the alleged gun was, Mr Fitzgerald replied: "As
per the media release, that's all I'm saying on the topic."
Mr Fitzgerald did, however, confirm last night that police
were still in the dark on where the gunman had got it.
"Inquiries are continuing to establish where he obtained the
gun," he said.
Speculation is rife in the Mid-Canterbury town that he either
stole the weapon, or bought it from a gang on the black
A memorial service for Peggy Noble is planned for 11am on
- Ashburton Guardian