A 14-year-old boy was shot in the leg inside a Hamilton shed in an incident police say could be linked to synthetic cannabis and alcohol.
A 19-year-old man is alleged to have shot the teenager overnight on Sunday. Synthetic cannabis and booze appeared to have played a role in what occurred, district firearms officer Richard Plas said.
It was one of a series of gun-related incidents in the past fortnight that Waikato police say is an issue that is now too serious to ignore. Two people have been shot; one person threatened self-harm; another threatened to shoot a former partner; and a man was found with a sawnoff shotgun in a stolen vehicle that he crashed.
The most serious incident involved a 19-year-old woman who suffered serious injuries after being accidentally shot by a teenager in possession of an illegally obtained sawnoff shotgun in Te Aroha on Saturday. Yesterday Taupo man Kewene John Mcintyre, 21, appeared in the Hamilton District Court charged with unlawful possession of a sawnoff shotgun following the shooting at the Russell Ave house. Mcintyre was remanded on bail until January. A 16-year-old male was also due to appear in the Youth Court in relation to the incident. The victim, understood to be Tamara Pourau, was yesterday in a serious but stable condition in Waikato Hospital.
The latest firearm-related incidents followed two last Monday.
In one, members of the Waikato armed offenders squad helped officers sort out a firearms-related domestic in Gordonton; while in the other, officers dealt with a man threatening to shoot his ex-partner in the Hamilton suburb of Nawton.
On the same night, a Christchurch offender was found with a sawnoff shotgun in a stolen car that crashed in Waihi.
"When viewed in isolation, all of these incidents give cause for serious concern, and when viewed collectively we see a clear picture that all too often, firearms are not being used or secured appropriately," Mr Plas said.