Two dead after attack at Auckland pawn shop
SIMON DAY AND ANDREA O'NEIL
Police have charged a 25-year-old man with murder after the violent deaths of two people at an South Auckland pawn shop.
The man was arrested outside the Huntly police station at midnight, police said. He will appear in the Manukau District Court tomorrow.
The man was seen leaving the Takanini Ezy Cash Store with a woman before police arrived at the murder scene yesterday. The woman was assisting police with their enquiries.
The victims were Paul Fanning, 69, who police believed was the store's owner, and Paul Matthews, 47, an employee.
Both men were known to the woman seen leaving the store with the man charged with their murder, according to police.
"We are unsure at this stage whether the man arrested had any prior relationship or knew the two men that were killed," Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said.
The woman who was believed to have driven the get away vehicle, was being treated as a witness by police and continuing to assist the investigation. Police would not comment on whether she could face charges.
The accused and the woman were in a relationship.
It did not appear anything was stolen from the store and there was no indication of a robbery, police said. They have located a sharp item of interest that will be subject to further investigation.
The bodies remained in the shop and were likely to be removed today and post mortem examination would follow. Forensice work at the scene would likely take a number of days.
SHOCK AND TEARS
Police were called to the shop at 1.10pm yesterday afternoon when a panic alarm was activated.
Five women, believed to be family of the victims, were in tears as they arrived at the shop this morning.
A bunch of flowers was laid at the scene.
Police were seeking information today from the public in relation to sightings of a Silver 2003 Mitsubishi Colt Hatchback believed to have travelled from Takanini to the Avondale area. The car possibly stopped at the Avondale Racecourse before travelling Papakura and then Huntly, where it was located by police.
In Auckland the car had a large "For Sale" sticker in the rear window, which had disappeared by the time it reached Huntly.
Police were also looking for a brown Dickies hooded top which may have been discarded near the Avondale racecourse. The hoodie was likely to have blood on it and should not be touched, police said.
They were eager for the public to keep an eye out for sharp items that may have been used as a weapon, either at the scene or discarded at the Avondale racecourse.
"Whilst we are pleased to have made an early arrest, the work for investigators is just beginning and the investigation will continue for some weeks," Lynch said.
Lynch said there was no reason for the community to be concerned as these types of attacks were "usually one-off".
Takanini residents were shocked to have such a violent crime committed in their neighbourhood.
George Cocker lives directly across the road from Ezy Cash with his family and knows the owner.
"He was a good neighbour to us. If I was here, I have two big boys, I would have raced over there and maybe we save their lives," he said.
"We came home around 4 and we got a shock, there were police everywhere," Cocker said.
At neighbouring business Super Cheap Auto, staff said they did not feel endangered working in the area.
"We definitely feel safe. We've got a lot of guys working here, they only have two," said Djay Pawar.
- Fairfax Media