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Joshua Grimwood was a wanted man by police after the shooting in the Christchurch suburb of Woolston on the Sunday evening of January 5.
Grimwood was a Nissan Primera passenger stopped at a red light at the Radley St/Ferry Rd intersection when he saw a guy he knew walking with two associates.
It was about 8.15pm. He yelled out to him and when the 29-year-old pedestrian walked up to the car, Grimwood asked him about giving back a car that he'd had taken from him several months earlier.
During a brief argument, Grimwood was clutching a cut-down rifle in his right hand.
He then raised the gun and aimed it at the victim's head and pulled the trigger, Christchurch District Court heard today.
As the gun went off, the victim flinched and was shot in the neck.
It caused him to feel instantly dizzy and stumble backwards, falling to the ground.
Grimwood and his mate drove off.
Police launched a manhunt and issued a photo of Grimwood, naming him, and warning the public that he "should not be approached".
He was caught up with days later and charged.
Today, he pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, along with a raft of firearms charges.
Judge David Saunders remanded him in custody to be sentenced on April 22.
When police caught up with Grimwood, he admitted the shooting.
He told officers that he fired the gun at the victim because he'd taken a car from him and he thought he was a "gangsta".
The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the right side of his neck.
The bullet is lodged in the top of his rib and will require surgery to remove, the court heard.
His condition is described by medical professionals as serious but stable.