Gang brawl caught on video

The Dominion Post - - Front Page - Thomas Manch [email protected]

‘‘We’ve had three in­ci­dents over the past four or five months that were gang-re­lated and have in­volved firearms.’’

In­spec­tor James Mckay

Po­lice will con­tact se­nior Mon­grel Mob and Black Power mem­bers try­ing to quell a dis­pute be­tween the gangs that is thought to have led to mul­ti­ple shoot­ings.

The lat­est in­ci­dent was a brawl – which res­i­dents say in­volved about 50 gang mem­bers – in the Lower Hutt sub­urb of Stokes Val­ley on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Video of the al­ter­ca­tion emerged yes­ter­day. It showed a large group of Mon­grel Mob mem­bers pur­su­ing Black Power across De­laney Park be­fore a gun­shot was heard.

No ar­rests were made, no weapons were found, and there were no re­ported in­juries re­sult­ing from the fight.

Po­lice now plan to meet with se­nior gang hi­er­ar­chy in the hope of quelling a dis­pute be­tween the gangs, thought to have led to mul­ti­ple shoot­ings in re­cent months.

Yes­ter­day, crim­i­nal investigation branch (CIB) of­fi­cers were search­ing for ev­i­dence at De­laney Park, as well as can­vass­ing neigh­bour­ing res­i­dents for any in­for­ma­tion that would help iden­tify those in­volved.

In­spec­tor James Mckay said po­lice had a ‘‘fairly good’’ idea about what had hap­pened.

‘‘We’ve had three in­ci­dents over the past four or five months that were gang-re­lated and have in­volved firearms. This one is pos­si­bly con­nected, as well, which is what we’re get­ting to the bot­tom of,’’ he said.

‘‘With these types of in­ci­dents, in­for­ma­tion is not that forth­com­ing from the peo­ple in­volved, ob­vi­ously, and also from mem­bers of the pub­lic who, rightly, are a lit­tle bit ap­pre­hen­sive about sup­ply­ing the in­for­ma­tion.’’

In De­cem­ber, a firearm was seized af­ter a shoot­ing of a 39-year-old man on nearby Han­son Grove. Two months ear­lier, a

man was shot in a drive-by shoot­ing on the same street.

Po­lice have pre­vi­ously said the shoot­ings were not re­lated.

In July 2018, a shoot­ing on Ge­orge St saw a 36-year-old man hos­pi­talised with chest wounds and charged with un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a firearm.

Duane Ed­ward Huaki, 39, was also charged with un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a firearm.

While both gangs have mem­bers liv­ing on Ge­orge St, all of the in­ci­dents in­volved mem­bers from across the Welling­ton re­gion.

Mckay said: ‘‘I don’t know why peo­ple are com­ing to Stokes Val­ley to do this kind of thing.’’

Of­fi­cers would be in­creas­ing their pa­trols of the neigh­bour­hood to re­as­sure mem­bers of the pub­lic.

‘‘I don’t be­lieve there’s wider con­cern. It is gang-re­lated ... and we are try­ing to work through with se­nior gang hi­er­ar­chy to re­solve that dis­pute so these things don’t hap­pen in the fu­ture.’’

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wal­lace said Hutt City Coun­cil was work­ing with po­lice and Hous­ing New Zealand – which houses a num­ber of gang mem­bers on Ge­orge St – to try to re­solve the is­sue.

There were un­con­firmed re­ports the fight came about from a gang patch be­ing stolen in late 2018 but it was ‘‘too early to say’’ whether that was the cause, he said.

‘‘What we’re want­ing to do at the mo­ment is en­sure that this does not re­oc­cur. We’re talk­ing to the lo­cal marae and the lo­cal lead­ers in the com­mu­nity to find out what has sparked this,’’ Wal­lace said.

‘‘Stokes Val­ley is a very good com­mu­nity . . . but it does knock the con­fi­dence of peo­ple liv­ing there.

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