Linton standoff soldier named

Private Alexander Stuart Rope, who died after a standoff with police at Linton army camp.
Private Alexander Stuart Rope, who died after a standoff with police at Linton army camp.

The soldier who was found dead after a five-hour standoff with police at a Palmerston North army camp yesterday has been named.

He was 23-year-old Private Alexander Stuart Rope.

Central District Police Manager of Operations Inspector Dave White said their sympathies were with Rope's family, friends and colleagues.

"Police personnel worked hard with New Zealand Defence Force staff to resolve the situation peacefully yesterday and we are saddened that there wasn't a different outcome."

Originally from Whanganui, Rope was a Rifleman with the Signals Platoon, Support Company, 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR)

NZDF said Rope enlisted into the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army in August 2008, and was posted to 2/1 Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR) to complete his Combat Corps Training.

He was posted to Linton in April 2009.

"Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of PTE Rope at this difficult time," his commander Colonel Chris Parsons said.

"I'd like to thank the police for all their hard work with this operation. Although the outcome is not the one we had hoped for, everyone involved dealt with the situation in an extremely professional manner."

The standoff happened after Rope barricaded himself inside a house at Linton Military Camp with a firearm about 9.30am yesterday.

A single gunshot was heard throughout the ordeal.

White yesterday said police were called and tried to contact Rope but received no response.

Police used teargas, without result. Officers entered the house about 2pm and found him dead. No one else was inside the house. Police did not fire any shots.

Sergeant Graham Wehipeihana said earlier that Rope had been picked up by a colleague overnight from the central city. He was brought back to the house about 1am. Alcohol was believed to be involved.

Rope had not been deployed overseas during his time with the NZ Army.

Rope's family members said they did not wish to make a comment at the moment and asked for privacy.

No one else was being sought in connection with his death and the matter had been referred to the coroner.