Tuesday, 22 March 2005 - 10:01pm |

Footage released of wanted gunman

2 min read

Wellington Police have tonight released footage from a security camera of the gunman sought for his role in the short lived escape of prison inmate Arthur William Taylor in central Wellington today.

Police are appealing for help in identifying the man who is described as a caucasian in his 30s. At the time the gunman confronted three Department of Corrections officers who were escorting Taylor in a central city office block carpark he was wearing a dark beanie, dark clothing and a green fluro vest.

He was carrying a dark bag from which a handgun, believed to be a pistol, was produced.

"Someone must know who this man is," Detective Inspector Knowles says. "He's dangerous and we need to find him."

Detective Inspector Knowles says police, including the Armed Offenders Squad, have searched several buildings in the central city but so far there has been no sign of the gunman since he fled into the Manners Street area shortly after 2pm today.

The gunman pointed the firearm at the prison officers shortly after they got out of a car with Taylor, a Rimutaka Prison inmate, who was on his way to a planned meeting in the city. The officers were threatened and handcuffed before the gunman and Taylor fled the scene.

Shortly afterwards Taylor was found by police in another carpark behind buildings in Manners Street after falling through a ceiling cavity.

He is now in custody at Wellington Central Police Station and will be appearing in the Wellington District Court tomorrow morning on seven charges - escaping from custody, presenting a firearm to law enforcement officers (x 3) and kidnapping (x 3).

Up to 40 police have been involved on the inquiry which has spread throughout the Wellington region, Otaki, Levin and the lower North Island.

Scene examinations will continue tomorrow morning. So far the weapon has not been located.

"Taylor's accomplice is dangerous and we want him found," Detective Inspector Knowles says.

"Anyone who can help with information about this investigation should contact Wellington Police or their nearest police station."