Youth fires at pizza buyers
A 19-year-old Hamilton man has admitted shooting at members of the public as they waited for food outside Pizza Hut.
In the Hamilton District Court, Shawn Michael Hawkins pleaded guilty to charges of injuring with reckless disregard for the safety of others, possession of cannabis and two charges of careless use of a firearm causing injury on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day last year.
About 7.40pm on Christmas Eve, the first victim was sitting in the front doorway of the shop next to Pizza Hut on Grey St, Claudelands, having just ordered some pizza.
Meanwhile, Hawkins, a student, was in the bedroom of his flat down a driveway across the road from the takeaway outlet.
Hawkins had his flatmate's .77 calibre air rifle and fired it at the victim from his bedroom window, penetrating the victim's jeans hitting his right shin, leaving a small cut.
About 15 minutes later, the next victim was standing outside Pizza Hut talking with his girlfriend when Hawkins fired another shot, hitting the victim in the lower back, close to his spine. The air rifle pellet left a 5mm deep wound and the victim was taken to Waikato Hospital for treatment.
The next day, Hawkins was again at his bedroom window with the gun and fired a third shot hitting a man in the buttocks, causing a welt. No medical treatment was sought but the man was able to identify where Hawkins was hiding.
Police were called and found Hawkins in the house by himself along with the air rifle and pellets. Two small bags of cannabis were also found in his bedroom.
When spoken to by police, Hawkins denied firing the shot on Christmas Eve but on Christmas Day admitted looking through the scope from the window and got a fright when it went off.
Judge Glen Marshall said the victims' impact statements described feeling "hurt, shock and anger" at being shot at, and said they were innocent members of the public who had expected to go to Pizza Hut to order food and not be shot at.
Hawkins was convicted on all charges and remanded on bail for sentencing on September 9.
- Waikato Times