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Grandmother says shooting avoidable

The scene of Sunday night’s shooting in Dixon St, Masterton. PHOTO/STEVE RENDLE

The grandmother of the victim’s partner said the shooting could have been avoided if there had been earlier police intervention.

Myrtle Ratapu was only two streets away when she heard the gunshots on Sunday and knew it was gang members “after my mokopuna”.

“I heard the shots and ran down there and sure enough there [she] was on the side of the road,” Ratapu said.

Ratapu was aware of ongoing incidents between the two suspects and members of the victim’s family which had been escalating for months.

She said the victim was “a good kid” who had nothing to do with the ongoing conflict.

“We kept making reports to police saying, ‘Please stop it, please go and talk to them about it’.

“I said ‘someone’s going to die if it doesn’t stop’.”

Ratapu said earlier the victim’s house had been ransacked, and rocks had been thrown at her own 96-year-old father’s house.

Other family members were scared to speak out in fear of gang retaliation but Ratapu said it needed to stop.

“People would say not to use my name but that kid could have died because people are keeping quiet.”

Family gathered outside Wairarapa Hospital on Sunday night and were able to see the victim after she was stabilised.

Other family members had gone to Wellington Hospital to support her.

“Half the family have gone down there which is good because no one is running around trying to repay this bullshit.”

Ratapu was thankful to the “awesome man” who stopped to help the victim and gave her a ride to hospital.

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