Waikato Police have launched a homicide investigation this morning following the discovery of a man’s body at around 8am inside a van in Gordonton.
Police have been working hard to establish the circumstances surrounding the man’s death, which is linked to a serious incident early this morning in Raglan.
At 3.20am, Police were notified of an incident earlier in the morning on Whaanga Road, Raglan where a male offender has approached a van that was parked in the Te Toto Gorge track carpark.
Two occupants, a man and a woman, were inside the campervan at the time and the male offender has fired a number of shots into the vehicle, injuring the man.
The female victim has managed to escape from the van and flee the scene.
The offender has stolen the vehicle, a 2017 white Toyota Hiace ZL (registration KWF362) and driven off with the injured man inside.
The woman, who fortunately was not injured in the incident, reached a nearby address and notified Police.
Police have made immediate enquiries regarding the whereabouts of the offender and the stolen vehicle.
At approximately 8am, the vehicle was located on Puke Road near the intersection of Gordonton Road, Gordonton.
Sadly the body of the male victim was located inside the vehicle.
The man is believed to be an Australian national and Police are working with Australian authorities to ensure his next of kin are notified.
Police are not able to confirm his identity until formal identification procedures have been carried out.
Police are assisting the woman, who is understandably very shocked and distressed, and ensuring she is provided with support and welfare.
Scene examinations are continuing in both Raglan and Gordonton this afternoon.
Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley says the offender is currently outstanding and Police are working hard to identify and locate the man responsible.
“This is an absolutely tragic incident. From our enquiries to this point, we believe the victims were not known to the offender and this appears to be a random attack.
“It is obviously concerning that we have an armed offender outstanding and I want to assure our Waikato community that our absolutely priority is locating him as soon as possible and holding him to account.
“We are appealing to the public for any sightings of a white 2017 Toyota Hiace ZL van (registration KWF362 – similar to the attached photo) travelling between Raglan and Gordonton before 8am this morning.
“We urge anyone with sightings of this vehicle or anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the Raglan or Gordonton areas during this period to contact Waikato Police on (07) 858 6200 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“In light of the current circumstances, a general arming order for police staff is in place this afternoon for the entire Waikato District and will be reassessed later today.
“This is a precautionary measure to keep our community safe. We ask that the public stays alert and reports any suspicious activity to Police immediately,” says Detective Inspector Pitkethley.
Nick Baker/NZ Police