24 May 2024

Officers were on scene of Dunedin fatal stabbing within a minute

4:29 pm on 24 May 2024

The fatal stabbing of Enere McLaren-Taana in Dunedin on Thursday happened "very, very quickly", but officers were on the scene of the attack within a minute, police say.

Speaking to media on Friday afternoon, Otago Coastal Area Commander Inspector Marty Gray said officers began providing medical aid and apprehended the alleged offender when they responded.

As far as Gray was aware, it was a single stab wound that Enere suffered.

The 16-year-old Trinity Catholic College student was attacked on Great King Street shortly after 3pm on Thursday.

He was rushed to Dunedin Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Friends and family have been paying tribute to Enere.

Otago Coastal Area Commander Inspector Marty Gray said police were still working to establish the circumstances leading up to the attack.

He would not say if the pair were known to each other, and could not say if they were known to youth services as the investigation was ongoing. Police do not believe there are any gang links to the incident.

Security staff were at the hub on Thursday and "quickly intervened in this altercation", he said.

Otago Coastal Area Commander Inspector Marty Gray addresses media during a stand up following a fatal stabbing incident in Dunedin yesterday.

Photo: NZ Herald/Ben Tomsett

Police recognised the attack was distressing to the community, he said.

"We know antisocial behaviour has been an issue at the bus hub and our staff have been working closely with Dunedin City Council, Otago Regional Council, the education department, iwi and other partners to suppress some of that activity.

"As a result of that work, we have seen the installation of additional CCTV cameras, security staff, alongside our own people, including members of Ministry of Education to monitor and provide reassurance in that area."

Police have scheduled additional reassurance patrols, alongside the security teams and other agencies, to provide confidence that the area was safe for use by the public, he said.

"We work hard with everyone else to prevent this type of thing occurring and we actually have seen a decline in antisocial behaviour as a result of the interventions that have been put in place, and we will continue to do that to prevent such a tragedy occurring again.

"Dunedin city is not dissimilar to a whole lot of other cities in New Zealand, where have a convergence of people at a specific times and days. We're well aware of that and we work hard to be in the right place in the right time, with the right people and that takes a whole lot of resourcing which is why we value and appreciate the collaborative approach that our partners provide."

A 13-year-old boy appeared before Judge Michael Turner at the Youth Court in Dunedin, who transferred the matter to the Dunedin High Court for a first appearance on 11 June.

He cannot be identified due to his age.

Police found a knife at the scene and were working to figure out what led to the stabbing.

While police had gathered evidence on Thursday, they were still appealing for any footage or photos of the incident from the public to be uploaded to an online portal they had launched.

Here's what was said at the conference:

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