24 Aug 2010

Inquiry begins into death at Auckland pharmacy

10:44 pm on 24 August 2010

Police are investigating the death of a man who broke into an Auckland pharmacy and struggled with the shop's owner shortly before the intruder died.

Officers were called to Gillard Pharmacy in the suburb of Mt Albert just before 5.30am on Tuesday and are carrying out a scene examination.

Police say about 4.30am, a security guard and pharmacist Grant Gillard, aged in his 60s, searched the premises after an alarm was activated.

Police say the security guard left the pharmacist alone to lock up when they failed to find anyone.

Shortly after, Mr Gillard was confronted by an unidentified intruder and a struggle followed, Inspector Jim Wilson says.

Police arrived and tried to revive the middle-aged intruder but he was pronounced dead by ambulance staff just after 6am.

They have been interviewing the pharmacist, but will not say if a weapon was used in the struggle, or how the man died.

Police will not know whether they are dealing with a homicide until they get the results of a post-mortem.