5 Oct 2012

Soldier found dead after standoff at Linton camp

7:38 pm on 5 October 2012

A soldier at the centre of a five-hour armed siege at Linton Army Camp has been found dead.

About 20 police including the Armed Offenders Squad were called to the base near Palmerston North about 9.30am on Friday when the man barricaded himself in a house.

Police negotiators spent several hours talking to the 23-year-old armed man and a distraction device was used in an attempt to flush him out.

However, Inspector Dave White says their efforts were unsuccessful and the soldier's body was found when AOS members entered the house about 2pm.

The Defence Force confirmed that the man had not served overseas, but could give few other details.

Major Robert Loftus, acting Chief of Staff at the Linton camp, says the Defence Force is deeply saddened by the death and will be providing support to the man's family.

The death will be referred to the coroner and the Defence Force is to conduct an investigation.

Several houses at the camp were evacuated and cordons prevented other residents from returning to their homes during the incident.

A woman who lives a few houses from where the man died told Radio New Zealand News no one told her family what was happening.

"My husband made the call to leave, not knowing that we wouldn't be allowed home. We didn't know what the hell was going on. We were putting our kids in the car while there were men with guns running past."

The woman, who did not want to be named, said she felt afraid for the safety of her two young children.