6 Oct 2015

Alleged gunman at WINZ office remanded in custody

5:23 pm on 6 October 2015

The man who allegedly tried to get into a Christchurch Work and Income office with a gun this morning has been remanded in custody after appearing in court.

Mitchell Shane Moulton, 32, has been charged with possession of a pistol, firing the pistol and possession of cannabis.

It is alleged he went to the Linwood office just before 8.45am and threatened security guards. Mr Moulton did not enter the office and left the scene in a car.

The Armed Offenders Squad was called, and he was arrested by police who stopped his car.

He yelled as he entered the dock in the Christchurch District Court this afternoon, but what he said has been suppressed by the court.

He will appear again 19 October.

Offices reopened

Canterbury District Commander John Price said the Work and Income office was closed while police spoke to staff.

All other Work and Income offices in the city were placed in lockdown as a precaution. Those sites and the Linwood office have since reopened.

Ministry of Social Development chief executive Brendan Boyle said the ministry was working closely with police.

"People can not and should not be able to threaten others without consequence," Mr Boyle said.

The Public Service Association (PSA) said the value of having security at Work and Income offices was underlined by the incident.

PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff said additional security guards were deployed at WINZ offices following last year's fatal shootings in Ashburton.

He said today's incident proved how valuable they were in protecting frontline staff.