Man on run arrested over Auckland shooting

ROBB KIDD
Last updated 17:11 04/01/2013
Otara shooting
ROB KIDD/Fairfax NZ

NO GO AREA: Police are conducting a scene examination at the Flatbush property.

Gareth Heron
ARRESTED: Gareth Heron

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Police have arrested a man, who had been on the run, in connection with a south Auckland shooting.

Gareth Heron, 25, who was known to one of the people at the Flatbush property where the incident took place, was arrested this afternoon.

A 23-year-old man is still in a critical but stable condition in Middlemore Hospital after being confronted and shot in the stomach.

Police had received sightings of Heron's vehicle and spoken to his parents earlier in the day, before he made contact with them and arranged to be picked up from a Tuakau address.

"It was very low key," Detective Inspector Jim Gallagher said.

Police found the 1998 dark green Mazda Capella Heron was driving but have yet to find the .22 calibre rifle he was allegedly carrying.

Gallagher said he was still likely to face a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.

A 29-year-old resident at the Eastland Rd address where the incident took place appeared in Manukau District Court today on an identical charge.

Gallagher said police were not seeking anyone else and the attention now turned to the victim, who was in a "precarious position".

He was understood to have been drinking with friends outside his house when he was injured.

"The victim has been in his car, he's hopped out and something has taken place. Someone else has produced a .22 calibre weapon and shot it at him at close range," Gallagher said.

A car, driven by a man, was seen speeding away from the house immediately after.

Neighbour Vicky Sing, who had recently moved to the area, said she was attracted to the suburb because it was quiet.

She was "very, very surprised" when police knocked on her door early this morning to explain what had happened.

Another resident described being woken by what he thought was a firework but because a lot had been let off around New Years, he thought nothing of it.

He heard people talking on the street shortly afterwards but said there were no raised voices or screeching tyres.

"I'm the sort of person who'll get up and go outside if there's domestic going on... but I didn't hear anything aggressive," he said.

Gallagher said police were still interested in reports of any activity seen around the address at 35 Eastland Rd, between 10pm and 11pm.

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- Auckland Now

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