Clyde St, the scene of Sunday morning’s shooting. PHOTO/STEVE RENDLE

Third firearms attack in three months
Police say shooting ‘isolated incident’

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

A 35-year-old Masterton woman is in a stable condition at Wairarapa Hospital after she was shot early on Sunday morning, the third shooting in Wairarapa in three months.

Witnesses said the woman was walking from Tay Pl to Clyde St in Masterton, at around 2.50am on Sunday, taking a pack of cigarettes to a friend, when she was shot in her right side with a shotgun.

The friend, who the Times-Age has agreed not to name, said she was expecting the woman at the door when she heard the gunshot.

“I opened the door and she was at the end of the path saying, ‘I’ve been shot’.

“I didn’t believe her, there was no blood. I thought she was joking until she lifted her arm and I saw the big red stain on her yellow top.”

The friend then drove the victim to hospital.

After visiting her, the witness said the victim had undergone surgery to remove at least 10 shotgun pellets but there were still about 20 in the wound.

The shooting comes after a series of incidents on the eastern side of Masterton during the weekend with a house near the scene of the shooting having its doors kicked in and windows broken at around 5.30pm on Saturday.

Several neighbours reported hearing the shot around 3am on Sunday morning but many dismissed the “loud crack” as a car tyre popping.

One neighbouring couple, who did not wish to be named, said they had also heard of two other shootings on Cameron Cr over the weekend, and another in Kuripuni.

The man, who had previously lived on the Cameron block for more than 30 years, was “used to it”.

His partner suspected the shooting was “gang-related” and connected to the earlier incident.

Another Clyde St resident said he hadn’t heard the shot but thought fewer violent incidents had occurred in recent months.

He said lower property prices had seen several new families move into the neighbourhood and a change in the community.

“It used to be [bad] here but it’s not anymore.”

Detective Sergeant Dean Cadwallader said Masterton police were unaware of any other shooting incidents over the weekend and urged people who knew of illegally held firearms to come forward.

Sunday’s incident came after a shooting in Kuripuni in December which resulted in a Masterton woman’s leg being amputated, and another shooting at Ngawi later that month.

“It’s a concern to us that there are illegally held firearms on the street,” Cadwallader said

Detective Sergeant Bill Van Woerkom said police had spoken with the victim and to several residents in the area.

“We believe this was an isolated incident and wish to reassure the community they are not in danger.”

Police were still appealing for witnesses to Sunday’s shooting and an investigation is under way.

“Someone in our community will know who is responsible,” Van Woerkom said.

Anyone with information should contact Masterton Police on 06 370 0300 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.