1 Feb 2016

Group was feared before shooting

9:09 am on 1 February 2016

Police have done nothing to stop a drunken group that gathers almost daily at a south Auckland reserve where a man shot and wounded three people, a family living nearby says.

A picnic rug and discarded beer boxes at the scene of the shooting.

A picnic rug and discarded beer boxes at the scene of the shooting. Photo: RNZ / Carla Penman

The wounded - aged 16, 22 and 24 - had been drinking with a group of up to 40 people at the Yates Road Reserve in Mangere, when they were shot at about 4.30am yesterday.

Police are still looking for the gunman.

Teri-Wiremu Williams, who was visiting his grandparents who live directly across the road from the reserve, said he heard a lot of laughter at first.

"And then arguments, and then smashed bottles ... and then sounds turned off and then sounds turned back on ... and then louder even more.

"And then screaming ... a whole lot of it."

He said they were lucky to not have been caught in the firing line.

"We were all sleeping in that one room over here and then we just heard a big bang ... sounded like a car crash really ...3 o'clock, 2.30.. it was still early in the morning. The car alarm went off when it all happened."

His grandmother, Dawn Williams, said she woke up to go to the toilet and heard all the noise outside.

"I just saw the guy lying on the ground over there ... I was going to go ring the cops but then they all turned up so I stayed right here.

"I didn't even know he'd got shot, I'd just heard them talking out there, people talking he'd got shot in the thigh.

"And I thought he was dead."

Metres from where she was standing, behind a temporary orange fence that surrounds her front lawn and driveway, detectives investigating the shooting were picking up beer boxes and brown paper bags strewn across the scene.

Neighbour Dawn Williams lives opposite the Yates Road Reserve, where a man opened fire on a large group, injuring three men, on Sunday morning.

Dawn Williams lives opposite the Yates Road Reserve. Photo: RNZ / Carla Penman

Ms Williams said the fence was there to stop her grandchildren from riding their bikes out onto the road, but it also worked as way to protect her family from the disorder that was constantly erupting across the road.

Mrs William said the group, aged between 15 and early 30s, did not look like a gang, but worried her.

She said she had called police many times over the past two years, but they had only responded once.

Mangere East Family Service Centre chief executive Peter Sykes said he had heard the group had been gathering and causing trouble in other areas nearby, so the shooting could be retribution for that. He did not think it was a case of locals versus locals.

"It's crossed a boundary that hasn't been crossed for a while.

Even though there's been young people gathering, and there's a lot of sort of argy-bargy going on ...the whole gangster scene has become a lot smaller. And many of the families around here don't tolerate it."