Bridgwater, 38, died after he was found in the early hours of January 4 on Carisbrooke St, Aranui. His car was still running when he was found on the street beside it.
On Wednesday, Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Baillie confirmed he suffered gunshot wounds and that police are searching for a firearm and other items of interest.
Members of the police national dive squad are today carrying out a search in the Avon River near the Avondale Footbridge, off New Brighton Rd, in relation to the investigation.
“We are committed to thoroughly investigating the death of Mr Bridgwater,” Baillie said.
“Our thoughts are with the family of Mr Bridgwater, his mother, brother and children who are still seeking answers as to what happened.”
Last week a 51-year-old woman was charged with accessory after the fact in relation to Operation Walter.
The woman appeared in the Christchurch District Court via audio-visual link before Judge Katie Elkin.
Through her lawyer, Ethan Huda, she did not request bail and asked for interim name suppression. The interim order, which was not opposed by police, was granted through to her next appearance in the High Court at Christchurch on February 16.
The inquiry into Bridgwater’s death is ongoing, with police asking for anyone with information to contact them.
Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves earlier told media Bridgwater’s family was “really shocked” about what had happened.
“They’re devastated about the news of their son, their brother... he’s a father. They’re coping very well under the circumstances, it’s very early days. They’ve got a really long road ahead of them.”
“Police would like to hear from anyone who has seen this car since around 2am on January 4 and any time since then.”
Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) officers descended on a property in Aranui in the days after his death, near where Bridgwater was found.
The Commodore was parked up the driveway of the property when police arrived.
The house at the centre of the raid was behind a memorial cross erected in Bridgwater’s honour.
Reeves had earlier said police were called after a 38-year-old was found dead on Carisbrooke St, near Portchester St, about 2.28am on January 4.
Bridgwater last posted on Facebook on Christmas Day.
“I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a safe holidays and remember it’s not what’s under the tree it’s who’s around it I lost a few people this year that were very important to me and are no longer around.
“Shout out to those who are struggling with their mental health but getting up daily no matter what. This time of year can hit worse, look after each other.”
One of Bridgwater’s friends, Michael Sturgess, told the Herald he was “absolutely heartbroken” at the death of 38-year-old, also known as Cyrus.
“[He] was such an amazing and talented man with a heart of gold and a smile that would light up the room, such an amazing devoted father to his son and such a wonderful friend.
“As everyone knows he will be sadly missed by everyone gone but never forgotten. Your legacy will live on rest in love brother.”
The vehicle of interest was within the police cordon, but Reeves said police were uncertain of who had been using it and wanted sightings from within the past day.
“I would like to encourage anybody who thinks they have some information to come forward and let police know,” Reeves said.
“If you heard any unusual sounds on Carisbrooke this morning, or if you have CCTV footage, we would be interested.”
She said residents on the street first alerted police to the incident after they heard “an unusual noise”.
In a letter to nearby residents from Detective Sergeant Dion Murray, police asked people for any video footage between the hours of noon on January 3 and 3am on January 4.
The letter also asked anyone who heard or saw anything about 1.30am on January 4 to contact police.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or who has information that could assist, should contact police on 105 or online by clicking “Update Report”.
Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers - 0800 555 111. Quote Operation Walter or case number 240104/2142.
By Sam Sherwood