13 Aug 2008

Police release description of pair sought over teen killing

8:53 pm on 13 August 2008

Police in South Auckland investigating the killing of a teenager outside his home on Tuesday night have released descriptions of two people who ran from the scene.

Police believe the 14-year-old was attacked during a birthday party and received head injuries.

Two people attacked him about 9pm while he was with seven friends outside his Justamere Place home celebrating a friend's birthday. They say his parents and other family members were inside the house at the time.

The ambulance service says the boy's mother called it after the incident, saying he had been shot in the head. The teenager was dead when crews arrived at the house.

However, an initial pathology examination indicated he died from blunt-force trauma to the head.

Detective Inspector John Tims says friends and family have been interviewed but no weapon has yet been recovered. "We need to know what happened and how this terrible death occured so we are asking for information from the community," Mr Tims said.

One neighbour says she believes the property was a tinny house. Mr Tims would not comment on that at a media conference on Wednesday, saying only that police had not been previously called to the address.

"He's a good 14-year-old boy, good family, the family is devastated," he said. "I think everyone would agree in this room that no family would ever want to go through what this family's going through at the moment."

A woman who lives in the street where the incident happened said there had been no previous signs of trouble there.

Community shocked

Manukau city councillor Daniel Newman has visited the scene in Weymouth, which is part of his Manurewa ward, where several homicides have already happened this year.

Mr Newman says the area has had more than its fair share of tragedies, only to now face another, and the community is shocked and sickened by the killing.

"There is a perception that our community is dysfunctional, that we are the badlands of New Zealand. That's not true. It's a place that thousands of people come to own their first home, to do good things, to raise their family and people stay for generations."

The homicide in Weymouth was the latest in a series of incidents in South Auckland.

Navtej Singh was fatally shot during a robbery at his liquor store in Manurewa on 7 June. Yan Ping Yang, 80, was beaten unconscious in her Manurewa home on 11 June and died three days later. And business owner Joanne Wang, 39, died of head injuries after being hit by a car at Westfield Shopping Centre in Manukau on 16 June as she tried to stop a man driving away with her stolen handbag.