Soldier found dead after standoff

Last updated 16:34 05/10/2012

A soldier has been found dead after a five-hour standoff at a Palmerston North army base home.

A police dog handler near where an armed standoff is underway.
MURRAY WILSON/Manawatu Standard Zoom
Armed police gather after the standoff.

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A soldier has been found dead after a five-hour standoff at a Palmerston North army base home today.

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The soldier, 23, had barricaded himself inside the house at Linton Military Camp with a firearm about 9.30am today. A single gunshot was heard from the Inglis Way house.

Central District police operations manager Inspector Dave White said police were called and tried to contact the man 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.

"We are saddened that this has ended in tragedy and our sympathies are with his family at this difficult time," White said.

Sergeant Graham Wehipeihana said earlier that the soldier involved in the standoff 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.

Major Rob Loftus said the Defence Force was deeply saddened at news of the death.

"Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the soldier concerned at this difficult time. The NZ Army will be providing appropriate support to the family of the soldier throughout this difficult time."

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

No one else is sought in connection with the death and the matter has been referred to the coroner.

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- Manawatu Standard

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