Shotgun victim fled for his life

Nightmares of shotgun boom still haunts

KATHRYN KING
Last updated 12:00 13/08/2014
Lester Stantiall
DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ
SHOT: Lester Stantiall is scared he may lose two fingers after he was shot at in Feilding, receiving a serious wound to his hand.

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Nightmares of the boom of a shotgun are haunting Lester Stantiall.

The 34-year-old was shot at as he drove along Makino Rd, Feilding, on Saturday night and the images continue to play on his mind.

To add to his anxiety, he is facing a nervous wait to see what will happen to his right hand after it was damaged by pellets from the shotgun blast that sprayed his car door.

Now back home in Marton, Stantiall's hand has had surgery and is wrapped up, but he has been told he could lose a finger, or maybe even two, if the bleeding from the wound doesn't stop.

Stitches run past his knuckle and down one of his fingers, but doctors couldn't get all the tiny pieces out of his hand, he said.

Shortly after 9pm on Saturday Stantiall was driving his Subaru WRX along Makino Rd, looking for the home of a friend.

Unable to see the numbers on the letterboxes clearly, the driver's side window was down, and he was cruising about 10kmh when there was a loud "bang", he said. "My hand got blown off the steering wheel, and I looked at it, and it hurt, and I realised it was bleeding."

Stantiall drove up the road a little further and stopped, getting out to look around.

"I thought something had gone wrong with my car," he said.

When he saw the holes littering his driver's side door and realised what must have happened, he jumped straight back in and fled, heading for his girlfriend's house across town.

The experience was terrifying, and his hand "felt like it had been broken", but nothing could stop him.

"I was scared, I just drove."

He'd since been told his low-riding, reclined seat position probably saved his life, hiding his head behind a panel of the car's frame.

Feilding man Hayden Te Oka, 28, has been arrested in relation to the shooting and appeared in the Palmerston North District Court on Monday. He was remanded in custody by Judge David Smith until later this month.

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- Manawatu Standard

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