Gangs fight in suburban park
Police believe a gun was fired during a gang brawl in Stokes Valley on Sunday.
The altercation between gang members at Delaney Park, George St, in the Hutt Valley suburb, sparked a large police response on Sunday afternoon.
Residents reported hearing a gunshot, and watching roughly 22 Mongrel Mob members fight 30 Black Power members.
Yesterday, police said it was believed a gun was fired about 3.45pm. Police searched several addresses in George St after the fight but made no arrests.
Inspector James Mckay said police were committed to identifying those responsible, and were following positive lines of inquiry. ‘‘We want the people of Stokes Valley to feel safe, and we want them to know that violence and the unlawful use of firearms will not be tolerated.’’
Stuff also received reports that some involved in the clash were armed with machetes, however police were unable to confirm these claims.
Residents of the Hutt Valley suburb want something done about the gang violence following the brawl.
A resident told Stuff he saw the incident and called the gangs out by name.
‘‘I seen the whole thing; there were 22 Mongrel Mob members and 30 Black Power.’’
Another nearby Stokes Valley resident – who also did not wish to be named – heard yelling and what sounded like a gunshot.
He heard from other witnesses that some of the people involved were wearing gang patches and weapons were used.
‘‘I heard it all going on and have spoken to a couple of people that saw it.’’
He said gang violence had been a big issue in the area in recent months and residents have had enough.
‘‘Apparently, there were kids around when it was happening.
‘‘My main concern is that an innocent bystander is going to get hurt.’’ He said something needed to be done. ‘‘This is like the third time there has been either guns or a knife fight in the last six months in Stokes Valley, and it’s because Black Power and Mongrel Mob live on the same street. It’s a pretty easy fix. If you get one of them out of there, then it won’t happen.’’
It had got to the point where he and his partner avoided shopping in the area because of the risk of gang violence. ‘‘I won’t go to the local supermarket ... because I’ve been down there before and there have been gang fights, and there’s been blood and broken bottles on the pavement.’’
Armed police patrolled the George St area, as officers searched houses to ‘‘locate [the] individuals involved’’.
There were no reports of injury and Wellington Free Ambulance confirmed they received no callouts related to the incident on Sunday afternoon.
Police confirmed at least 10 units were at the scene and police staff were posted in the area overnight. An officer at the scene described it as a ‘‘volatile situation’’.
At 5pm on Sunday, police, including some armed with assault rifles, were seen surrounding a large group of Black Power members who had congregated around a house.
The gang members dissipated as seven police cars left the scene.
By 7pm no arrests had been made. Police moved on to Delaney Park in George St, the apparent location of the skirmish, and appeared to conduct another search.
Gang members approached by Stuff declined to comment.
One neighbour suggested everyone needed to come together and ‘‘what do you get when you mix red and blue? Purple. Everyone should wear purple and come together for our whanau’’.
Armed police search vehicles after a gang brawl in the Hutt Valley suburb of Stokes Valley, north of Wellington.