Actor in ‘fragile’ state
FRIENDS and family are rallying around a solo father after he was shot by police in a quiet suburban Pt Chevalier street on Monday.
Rob Mokaraka allegedly advanced on police with a meat cleaver and two knives in Smale St at 1pm.
The 36-year-old underwent surgery for three hours at Auckland Hospital on Monday to remove a bullet from his chest.
Superintendent George Fraser says police were called to the address after a neighbour called 111 with concerns of serious violence.
Mr Fraser says the shot was fired before the armed offenders squad had arrived.
“A taser and qualified operator had also been requested to attend the incident and was on the way at the time of the shooting,” he said.
Mr Mokaraka was yesterday in a stable condition in hospital and was under police custody.
His father was at his bedside, but worried friends have not been allowed to see him.
A close friend, who did not want to be named, says those close to Mr Mokaraka believe he was in a fragile emotional state.
“He must have been having a bad day but the force used against him was unreasonable considering the kind of person he is, that we know him to be.
“He’s talented, clever, generous, loving, reliable and very humorous. He knows how to make people laugh and he is always kind.”
The woman said friends and family have been rallying around the actor, who has a young daughter, and had been upset by images that showed him in a military uniform.
“It was his costume for a play,” she said.
“He’s Maori, he’s got all the right statistics to be shot. But as a person he’s not that statistic and that’s evident by all his friends who love him, and all the work he has done.
“We’re all just relieved he’s okay and anxious about his recovery.”
Director and friend Taika Cohen was among dozens of people to send Mr Mokaraka supportive messages through the Facebook website.
“You’re my brother and I love you. Be strong bro,” said the message.
Mr Mokaraka has been acting for more than a decade and has starred in television shows Love Bites, Mataku and Questions.
Most recently he starred in his award-winning play Strange Resting Places, a 1940s war drama set at Monte Cassino in Italy.
The play, which he co-wrote with fellow actor Paolo Rotondo, was delivered in Maori, Italian and English. Mr Mokaraka played a number of characters.
He was working on a feature film about the Maori battalion based on the play.
His agent at Johnson & Laird declined to comment.
Police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty says any charges he might face will depend on the outcome of the investigation, which was still in its early stages.
There are a lot statements to take and people to talk to, including him.”
“Any decision around that would be some time off.”
Police have located several members of the man’s family and have spoken to several witnesses.
The officers immediately involved in the shooting will not be required to work until deemed fit for duty.
Cordoned off: Numerous police attended the scene on Monday after actor Rob Mokaraka was shot.
Recent success: Actor Rob Mokaraka had recently finished working on wartime play Strange Resting Places.