Resident tried to comfort dying assault victim

Police have located a black BMW they last night said was involved in the crash. Photo: NZ Herald
Police have located a black BMW they last night said was involved in the crash. Photo: NZ Herald
A shaken Auckland resident this morning laid flowers by the road where just hours ago he tried to save the life of a young man killed in front of him.

Red-eyed and at times on the edge of tears, he told The New Zealand Herald there was “so much blood” after the attack.

He said he saw two young men attacking a third man in a car on Beach Haven Rd in Beach Haven last night after what sounded like a minor road crash.

Police have so far today not released any fresh details about the incident, but have located a black BMW sedan they last night said was involved in the crash. The Herald has photos of police with the vehicle in the North Shore suburb of Glenfield.

Rushing to the victim’s aid, the resident and others applied pressure to his wounds.

They also found the man’s name from his wallet and tried to console him.

“I find comfort in hoping that he found comfort that there were people there talking to him ... when he passed,” the resident said.

Returning to the scene this morning, he hugged a nearby neighbour and laid flowers in the hope it might become a small memorial for the victim and his family.

“I never met the guy, but to be with someone in their last moments like that, that’s quite a connection,” the resident said.

Of the floral tribute, he said: “If I can start to put something out, other people might add to it.”

Other people have also laid floral tributes at the scene.

Police last night said they were seeking the occupants of a black BMW believed to have been involved in the crash, at the intersection of Tramway Rd and Beach Haven Rd.

Police said they were “urgently appealing for witnesses” to the incident, which happened about 7pm.

“Initial information suggests that the driver of one of the cars was subsequently assaulted by occupants of the second car,” police said.

The driver suffered critical injuries and died at the scene, police said.

“The occupants of the second car left immediately following the assault and police are working to locate them,” police said.

The Beach Haven resident and others on the street said they initially heard the bang of a car crash.

The crash took place near a traffic island that has been the scene of at least four other crashes in the last five years, including one involving a gang member coming off his motorbike, the resident said.

Photos from the scene showed damage to the front bumper of the victim’s car.

The resident said when he started looking, he saw that two young men had already left their black car and were allegedly attacking the victim - who looked to be aged in his 20s-30s - in the car behind.

The attack lasted just seconds.

As they ran away, the men allegedly said ‘That’s what you get when you come to Beach Haven’, before speeding off, the resident said.

The resident rushed to the victim’s car.

He was already on the phone to 111 before there and was simultaneously screaming for help from nearby neighbours, who were emerging from their homes.

He and his partner and a third woman trained in CPR tried to provide first aid and apply pressure to the wounds, while other residents started directing traffic.

“But there was just so much blood, I’ve never seen nothing like that before,” he said.

The resident and other neighbours said they saw wounds on the victim’s face and neck area.

There were also multiple wounds on his leg but the worst injury was to his chest, the resident said.

“That was our main concern, his chest,” he said.

The extent of the injuries were like out of a “movie”.

“You just don’t ever expect to see that right in front of your face,” he said.

The first police car was on the scene maybe within a minute. As many as five patrol cars had arrived soon after.

At the instructions of police, residents helped remove the victim from his car and place him on the footpath so more concerted efforts could be made to revive him.

“But I personally believe he was already gone,” the resident said.

“He was pretty much fighting for his life by the time I had even got to the car and managed to apply pressure to his wounds.”

Other neighbours confirmed the victim was unconscious by the time he was laid on the grass as some of them gathered a tarp to try to shield the scene.

The resident said it was heartwarming to see the police response and the way everyone worked together.

It gave him “comfort” that “everyone did their best” to help the victim, he said.

However, the incident had been scary and concerning, he said.

His partner is now staying at her parent’s place and police have offered them victim support.