Shooting suspect Rollie Heke unlikely to 'give up or give in'

Police are looking for Rollie James Heke, 36. He is believed to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached.
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Police are looking for Rollie James Heke, 36. He is believed to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

The former partner of Morrinsville shooting suspect Rollie James Heke says it's not in his nature to "give up or give in".

The Taranaki woman, who has a son with Heke and was his partner for eight years from 2000, said she believed it was unlikely he would turn himself in.

"Part of me thinks this guy won't make it easy on the cops and it might not end well...we are most definitely worried for him," she said. 

The abandoned red Holden with five bullet holes in the windscreen.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

The abandoned red Holden with five bullet holes in the windscreen.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said in the months prior to last week's shooting incident in the Waikato town of Morrinsville, Heke, 36, had promised their son he would hand himself in if things got worse. 

"But he hasn't yet, so who knows."

Last Sunday, Heke, who has been on the run for months after cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet, fired a barrage of shots at police officers with a military style semi-automatic gun following a car chase in Waikato.

Police are looking to locate Rollie James Heke, 36. He is believed to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached.
Mark Taylor

Police are looking to locate Rollie James Heke, 36. He is believed to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

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Heke fled the scene, leaving behind a police car peppered with bullets and his own red Holden, which had bullet holes in the windscreen.

The search for Heke was upgraded to a national alert on Wednesday after police determined it was unlikely he was still in the area.

Police stopped vehicles in Morrinsville looking for the gunman after he fled the scene of the shooting.
BRADLEY MACE

Police stopped vehicles in Morrinsville looking for the gunman after he fled the scene of the shooting.

Heke's former partner said the ongoing situation was taking a toll on their son and had left him feeling embarrassed, angry and sad. 

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"My son does worry about his dad," she said.

The boy was avoiding watching TV for fear of seeing reports on the unfolding national police hunt of his father.

After months without talking Heke had phoned the day before the dramatic Morrinsville incident to wish her happy birthday.

"He's always rung me on my birthday so it wasn't surprising."

Heke was "OK" during the phone call, she said.

She believed the following day's events only happened because Heke didn't want to go back to jail. However she hoped he would turn himself in. 

While the woman said she had no idea where Heke was hiding out she did not believe he would come to Taranaki.

"He wouldn't want to put that heat on us."

She said Heke did have "a good side" to him but nowadays that was mostly overridden by the "bad". 

"I think being involved in gangs for the majority of his life...that's kind of moulded him into who he is today. It's kind of all he knows."

Police have said the 36-year-old was unpredictable and had an extensive criminal network he could turn to, but officers were concerned that Heke could also get violent with people trying to help him.

Police would be questioning Heke's associates across the North Island, who could face charges if found to be helping him evade capture.

Another of Heke's former partners, Irene Scanlon, 43, is wanted for questioning as it was believed she may be helping him evade police.

 - Stuff

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