19 Sep 2023

Albany Bus Station homicide investigation: Police arrest and charge 16-year-old

12:51 pm on 19 September 2023
Police have launched a homicide investigation following an incident at Auckland's Albany Bus Station on 18 September 2023 where one person died and one was injured.

Police have launched a homicide investigation following an incident at Auckland's Albany Bus Station on 18 September 2023 where one person died and one was injured. Photo: RNZ / Jordan Dunn

A 16-year-old boy charged with murder after an attack at Auckland's Albany Bus Station has appeared in court.

A person died in hospital shortly after an attack about 12.50pm on Monday, and a second person was left with minor injuries.

The teenager appeared in the Hamilton Youth Court shortly after midday, before Judge Denise Clark.

He was remanded in custody and is next due to appear in the High Court in Auckland in October.

Restrictions reporting Youth Court proceedings mean further details about the case, including the victim's name, cannot be reported.

Detective Inspector Callum McNeill said police travelled to Hamilton last night and arrested the teenager with the assistance of Waikato CIB.

A post-mortem examination was scheduled to get under way.

"We are working through the process of formal identification and contacting the family," McNeill said.

"Once the proper processes have been carried out we will be able to release the victims details."

Police said the scene had been cleared on Tuesday, but investigations were ongoing.

Shocked witnesses told RNZ of seeing blood splattered across the ground and windows, and a man receiving CPR.

National MP Mark Mitchell, a former police officer, was close to the bus station at the time and went to help.

He told Morning Report commuters and other bystanders inside the station who witnessed the attack were visibly upset.

"It's traumatic for anyone to be around when that type of attack or that type of incident happens - it's meant to be a place that they'd probably consider fairly safe, it's public, it's where they're accessing public transport to try and get home or get on with their daily activities, and it was early afternoon on a Monday.

Albany Bus Station has reopened after being under under police guard since the fatality.

Mitchell said there should be an increased police presence at the station for the time being to give peace of mind to commuters.

"I haven't sought any information from police ... but from what I understand it was a stabbing," he said.

"A tragedy that the person who was attacked has died."

Police said they were continuing to speak to a number of witnesses who were in the area at the time.

AT transport officers redeployed

Brett Napier and his daughter have been regular users of the bus service and he said the fatality would raise further apprehension for some.

"It could have been a one off thing - incidents do happen - but there's been quite a few in the past couple of months that seem to be at bus stations, and on buses with their own drivers being attacked, so maybe they should look at putting in security there."

Auckland Transport (AT) said its team of transport officers would be redeployed to provide a more visible presence at the bus station and along the Northern Busway for the foreseeable future.

AT said it would work with police to deploy the officers, who provided security support onboard services and at stations, where they were needed most.

"Today and throughout the rest of the week we'll be making sure that we prioritise the deployment of transport officers to the Northern Busway," AT executive general manager for public transport services Stacey van der Putten said.

There had been an increase in antisocial behaviour in the last 18 months, but the number of incidents remained low compared to the volume of passengers on public transport, van der Putten said.

Existing services of security guards, monitored CCTV and a CrimeStoppers service which supports customers to proactively identify any areas of concern, were available, AT said.

Albany Bus Station on 19 September 2023, the day after it was the scene of a crime which later became a homicide. The bus station is operating as usual.

Albany Bus Station returned to normal operations on 19 September, 2023. Photo: RNZ / Delphine Herbert