A Feilding man was to appear in court today after a man was shot at as he drove past a Feilding house.
Marton man Lester Stantiall, 34, suffered an injury to his hand after his vehicle was fired upon with a shotgun as he drove along Makino Rd, Feilding, about 8.50pm on Saturday.
The wound required surgery, and he was discharged from Palmerston North Hospital yesterday.
Manawatu Detective Sergeant Dave Thompson said the Manawatu armed offenders squad went to a house in Makino Rd not far from where Stantiall was hit and, a short time later, arrested a 28-year-old man. He was charged with firearms-related offences, and was to appear in the Palmerston North District Court today.
The house remained cordoned off this morning as police carried out a scene examination.
The shooting is believed to be linked to another firearms incident earlier that day, in Palmerston North's Oakley St.
Armed police responded to a call to a house there about 11am, after it was reported that a shot was fired.
Police spoke to people at the house but there were no complaints.
It is the second time in two months police have attended a firearms incident at the Oakley St house, after shots were fired into the house and a car parked outside last month.
At least eight shots, believed to be from a .22 calibre weapon, were fired. No-one was injured.
"Police believe that the two incidents are related and that a dispute between two groups has escalated to a point where an innocent member of the public has been caught up in the middle of it," Thompson said.
"It's with a huge cup of good luck that we are not dealing with a homicide."
Geoff Partridge, who grew up with Stantiall and considers him a brother, got a call from the distraught man saying he had been shot.
"At first he thought something had gone wrong with his car, he heard the bang and it was a hell of a bang and it was quite a stun, and
he pulled up and stopped and that's when he realised his window had been shot out and he panicked."
Stantiall went to his girlfriend's house in Feilding and called emergency services, and Partridge arrived a short time later.
One of the pellets had gone into Stantiall's hand and shattered some of the bones. He was discharged after surgery last night, and it remained to be seen whether he would regain use of one of his fingers.
The whole incident "beggars belief", Partridge said.
Police said that while some of those involved in the incidents were associated with gangs, it was not a gang-related incident.
The two groups had met and police believed the situation had been "de-escalated" following the arrest.
Police are continuing with inquiries and ask anyone with information concerning either the incident in Oakley St or Makino Rd to contact Detective Scott Rankin on 351 3600.
Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111.
- Manawatu Standard
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