Woman had bullet lodged in head

MARIKA HILL AND VICTORIA ROBINSON
Last updated 07:58 17/06/2012

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A South Auckland woman is fighting for her life in hospital with a bullet in her head after a shooting yesterday.

Police were called to the house in Druces Rd, Manukau, at 1.30am yesterday, where they found a 60-year-old woman who had been shot in the head.

She was rushed by ambulance to hospital where a CT scan revealed a bullet lodged in her head. Surgery was required to remove the bullet and police say her condition is critical.

A 60-year-old man was arrested and appeared in Counties Manukau District Court on a charge of assault.

He was remanded in custody and will reappear tomorrow. Police have not ruled out further serious charges being laid.

Police found a firearm and a shell casing, and completed a canvass of the area, interviewing several witnesses.

A neighbour, who declined to give his name, said an elderly Pacific Island couple lived at the house where the shooting took place. He said they were quiet and kept to themselves.

"I don't know them, but I see them every day," he said. "They seemed all right."

The elderly woman appeared to be ill and struggled to walk properly, he said. Although not certain, he said he believed a few people lived at the house with the couple, including one of their children.

He was shocked to hear of the shooting because he had not heard anything during the night. It was only when he saw police officers at the home that he realised something had happened.

"I have seen some street fights here, but this is the first time someone has been shot."

Pepe Petaia, who lives a few houses down, said she did not hear any shots, but saw police at the house yesterday. "It was always a nice street, but not now. There's too many young kids in gangs."

She said her younger neighbours were keeping an eye on her. "My neighbours are worried too. They're looking out for me because I'm a pensioner."

Petaia said she did not know the residents at the house.

Police said no-one else was being sought in relation to the incident. Police spokesman Kevin Loughlin refused to comment on whether the woman was conscious when they arrived, the extent of her wounds, or on her relationship to the alleged shooter.

An ambulance spokeswoman said the woman had moderate injuries when they arrived.

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- Sunday Star Times

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