Siege ends in­death


It was two days Porirua will never for­get.

On Fri­day morn­ing po­lice were car­ry­ing out a rou­tine search war­rant in Wai­tan­girua when things went wrong.

A po­lice dog named Gazza was shot and killed and an of­fi­cer in­jured af­ter he leapt out of a sec­ond-storey win­dow a of Kokiri Cres house.

It was the be­gin­ning of a siege that con­tin­ued un­til Satur­day morn­ing.

The gun­man, be­lieved to be Pita Tekira, bar­ri­caded him­self into an up­stairs room as the in­jured po­lice­man was he­li­coptered to Welling­ton Hospi­tal.

Armed po­lice swarmed into the street and its res­i­dents, as well as some in War­spite Ave, were evac­u­ated.

A res­i­dent of Kokiri Cres said he had seen Tekira around the area and be­lieved the man had been liv­ing in the neigh­bour­hood since the start of the year.

Tekira, a con­victed ag­gra­vated rob­ber, was fac­ing 11 charges, in­clud­ing for dis­hon­esty, driv­ing and vi­o­lence.

Po­lice had been hunt­ing for him af­ter he re­moved his elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing bracelet.

Welling­ton District com­man­der Su­per­in­ten­dent Sam Hoyle said the in­jured of­fi­cer jumped out the win­dow to es­cape the gun­man.

The of­fi­cer sus­tained sev­eral frac­tures as leap­ing for his life af­ter Gazza was shot.

Wor­ried par­ents waited at the po­lice cor­dons to col­lect their chil­dren from ko­hanga.

Staff at Wai­tan­girua Health Cen­tre locked them­selves into their build­ing.

Porirua res­i­dent Tana Lisale said he heard yelling be­tween po­lice and the sus­pect.

He said he heard the sus­pect shout­ing, ‘‘Don’t do any­thing to my kids’’ and ask­ing for a phone and cig­a­rettes.

A po­lice­man said Tekira was com­mu­ni­cat­ing and had spo­ken with his fam­ily by tele­phone.

The siege con­tin­ued into the night as po­lice ne­go­ti­ated with Tekira.

Peo­ple evac­u­ated from their homes were wel­comed into Horouta marae and do­na­tions flooded in from the Porirua com­mu­nity.

The po­lice last heard from Tekira just be­fore mid­night.

They fired gas can­is­ters into the house where he was holed up

On Satur­day morn­ing they gained ac­cess to the ground floor of the house and used a re­mote cam­era to con­firm Tekira’s body was in a room above.

He was alone and there was a gun present.

At mid­day, po­lice con­firmed the siege was over.

Stunned res­i­dents were evac­u­ated from the area around the house in Kokiri Cres where an armed man was bar­ri­caded. Photo: ROSS GIBLIN

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