Three wounded during Thames home invasion
MATT BOWEN AND CAMERON MASSEY
A neighbour of a property where two teenagers and an elderly man were held at gunpoint during a Thames home invasion says police had visited the place before.
Police are actively hunting the three people who fled the Parawai Rd house shortly before 8.20pm in a dark and silver coloured flat deck ute.
They are also appealing for any witnesses or informants to come forward.
Emergency services were called to a geriatric hospital on Parawai Rd about 8.20pm, Detective Sergeant Martyn Hughes of the Thames CIB said.
"Occupants from a property across the road went to the hospital to raise the alarm after an alleged home invasion,'' Hughes said.
"We're currently working to establish just what has occurred but initial indications are a man and a woman were at home when a vehicle pulled up the drive."
Hughes said the elderly man from went outside to see who it was when three men wearing balaclavas accosted him and took him back inside.
A short time later an 18-year-old friend of the pair arrived at the house and he too was held at gunpoint.
"At some point a shotgun has gone off inside the house and the intruders have fled the property. Initially, a 17-year-old woman from the property was reported as the sole casualty during the shooting. However information received earlier today confirmed the 18-year-old friend visiting the address was also wounded.''
District communications manager Andrew McAlley said he was wounded in the groin.
Hughes said both injured teenagers were assessed as requiring surgery for their injuries and were to be transferred to Waikato Hospital but they both discharged themselves overnight.
A neighbour spoken to by Fairfax Media said she heard a dog at the property barking at about 8pm on Monday night.
The neighbour said there were regular changes in tenants at the house and police often visited. But there were other unfamiliar cars about in the aftermath of the shooting.
''This morning a couple of shady cars drove up and down the street. The guys inside were over dressed for the weather.
''I thought they were workers at the building site, but they weren't wearing hi-vis gear and they were driving extremely slow.''
McAlley said police were trying to establish the circumstances around the shooting. The 73-year-old man from suffered facial injuries and shock and was kept in Thames Hospital overnight for observation.
"When spoken to by police the victims described the offenders' vehicle being a silver and dark coloured flat deck utility and police would like to hear from anyone who saw such a vehicle in or around Parawai Rd about the time of the incident or who saw or heard anything."
McAlley would not comment on the motivations of the offenders.Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Thames Police on 07 858 6200. Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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