21 Nov 2017

Wellington taxi shooting suspect still in the city - police

11:10 am on 21 November 2017

Police believe the man sought over the shooting of a Wellington taxi driver is still in the city, and have appealed for him to come forward.

Yesterday police revealed they were looking for Dylan Nuku, 26, over the shooting.

The cab driver, Alem, is now out of hospital and recovering at home with his shoulder bone broken in two places.

Alem said he feared the gunman would kill him.

Alem was shot when he refused to get out of his taxi. Photo: RNZ / Charlie Dreaver

He had picked up a man and a woman in the central city and took them to the suburb of Miramar, where they got out of the car without paying.

Mr Tessema said he was told to get out of the car, and when he refused, he was shot. Police believe the weapon used was a small low calibre pistol.

Dylan Nuku

Police are seeking 26-year-old Dylan Nuku over the shooting. Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

Speaking to media today, Detective Senior Sergeant Warwick McKee said police were checking a number of addresses around Wellington and had spoken to Mr Nuku's family.

He appealed to Mr Nuku to come forward.

"I'd like Dylan to come forward to the police and get this matter resolved, front foot this and come and see us."

Mr McKee said he visited Alem today and the victim was in "good shape", but still angry about the incident.

"However he is recovering well and in good spirits at home."

Mr McKee said Mr Nuku could be armed and should not be approached.

Mr McKee said police were hoping to speak to the woman who was also in the taxi "in the near future", although he would not give any details.

'This is not somebody fighting on the street'

Nigussie Fenja, the chairperson for the Ethiopian Community in Wellington and a friend of the victim, said the nature of the attack demanded serious and quick action from police.

"This is not somebody fighting on the street, you know what I mean. This is not a person who didn't pay the money and then he pushed at somebody or punched him in the face and ran away.

"This is absolutely a high criminal, somebody who carries a gun in public in Courtenay Place where thousands of people go. There has to be complete serious action."

Meanwhile, a gun owners' lobby group said too many armed criminals were getting a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket, instead of being stomped on with a steel capped boot.

Following the weekend shooting, the Council of Licenced Firearm Owners has called for tougher sentences for criminals who use guns.

Spokesperson Nicole McKee said there were not enough deterrents in place to stop armed crime.

"We used to be able to have a four-year mandatory sentence added to some of our sentences for people who used firearms in the commission of a crime. And that stopped being used a number of years ago, it needs to be brought back."

Ms McKee said firearms laws were fit for purpose and illegal gun owners gave legitimate users a bad name.