Police, public gather to mark officer’s death

A sombre minute’s silence was observed by emergency services staff and the public around the South yesterday.

At 10.37am more than 100 police staff and firefighters gathered at the Dunedin police station, and dozens more at police stations around the region, to observe one minute of silence in honour of Constable Matthew Hunt, who was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in Auckland at that time on June 19.

Constable Seaton McGuigan kneels at the entrance to the Dunedin police station to remember...
Constable Seaton McGuigan kneels at the entrance to the Dunedin police station to remember Constable Matthew Hunt, who was shot and killed in Auckland last week. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Flowers and tributes were laid, flags flew at half mast, and songs were sung by crowds gathered.

Uniformed officers shared hugs and comforted one another after the silence.

Const Hunt died of his injuries and another officer was injured when the pair were shot.

Otago Coastal area commander Inspector Marty Gray speaks to those gathered at the Dunedin police...
Otago Coastal area commander Inspector Marty Gray speaks to those gathered at the Dunedin police station to acknowledge the death of Const Hunt.
Otago Coastal area commander Inspector Marty Gray said the gathering provided a way for the community to express their grief.

"Today was about us coming together to acknowledge our colleague who was tragically killed last week.

"This is to give people that opportunity [to grieve], and for police and our wider community and whanau to do that as one."

Observing a minute-long silence at 10.37am in Queenstown yesterday were (from left, front)...
Observing a minute-long silence at 10.37am in Queenstown yesterday were (from left, front) Inspector Olaf Jensen, Detective Constable Nicola Clark, Senior Sergeants Glenn Wilkinson, John Fookes and Miriam Chittenden and Det Grant Miller; (back) Snr Sgt Paula Enoka, Jeri Elliot, Melissa Chambers, Det Lisa Watt, Const Sophie McSkimming, Acting Sgt Matthew Hargreaves and Detective Matt Jones. PHOTO: TRACEY ROXBURGH
In Auckland, more than 100 people gathered quietly in the Henderson Police Station car park, speaking only — if at all — to the person beside them.

At the end of the minute's silence, one officer started singing Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen.

Hundreds of flowers and messages of support towards the police and the Hunt family have been placed at the base of flagpoles outside the station.

"Thank you for sacrificing your life for all," one message says.

"From a mother to a man in blue, our hearts are with you," said another.

About 70 people stood for a minute’s silence outside the Invercargill Police Station. PHOTO:...
About 70 people stood for a minute’s silence outside the Invercargill Police Station. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH

— Additional reporting New Zealand Herald

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