Police shot rogue ram after couple found dead

Police at the scene on Anzac Valley Rd in rural Waitākere. Photo: RNZ
Police at the scene on Anzac Valley Rd in rural Waitākere. Photo: RNZ

A rogue ram believed to have killed an elderly couple in West Auckland confronted police officers before they shot the animal dead.

Police this evening said a ram was in the paddock at the Waitākere property when they were notified of the deaths, about 7.30am today.

“Another party at the scene suffered a minor injury after being attacked by this ram,” police said.

“Once our staff arrived at the scene they too were confronted and approached by the ram. On undertaking a risk assessment, the ram was shot and died at the scene.”

Police said they were continuing to investigate the deaths at the Anzac Valley Rd property.

“As part of this process, post-mortem examinations are due to be carried out tomorrow.”

A scene examination had been completed, police said.

Stuff earlier reported that the victims were a couple in their 80s, and that family member Dean Burrell had said the incident "related to an animal".

Burrell said the couple were his aunt and her husband, and that they had lived at the property, which they rented, for about eight years.

"Unfortunately they’ve both lost their lives in a tragic accident."

He said they were hobby farmers and kept sheep, cattle and chickens.

"I feel like I was dreaming it. It was a bit of a shock being told what had happened and I just didn't believe it, so I've come down here to support my cousins and the wider family."

They were found by their son, and their deaths were not suspicious.

Burrell said the family had not heard from the pair in a couple of days.

He had been informed of the deaths this morning by his father, after the couple were found.

He said it had been a couple of days since family had heard from them.

"They’re good people. They’re over 80. They don’t deserve this."

 - RNZ/additional reporting ODT Online