14 Jan 2013

Teenager dies after being shot by airgun

11:56 am on 14 January 2013

An 18-year-old has died after being shot with an airgun while drinking with other teenagers in Auckland.

Counties Manukau police say a group of five youths were drinking alcohol and playing with an air rifle and an air pistol at a Manurewa property about 7pm on Saturday.

Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said they had been shooting at cans when the 18-year-old was shot.

He was given medical treatment at the scene with the help of neighbours and taken to Middlemore Hospital, where he died shortly after arrival.

Detective Inspector Lynch said there was no indication the shooting was deliberate, but the incident will be investigated to determine whether anyone should face charges.

Officers have spoken to all those involved and they have co-operated with the investigation, he said.

"The person that fired the shot has also assisted us by providing a blood sample so we will be able to determine exactly what his level of intoxication was."

Detective Inspector Lynch said the teenagers are distressed as the gravity of what happened hit home.

He said the tragedy should serve as a painful reminder that airguns are not toys, but powerful weapons that have potential to kill or seriously injure.

The weapons need to be handled in the same manner as firearms and certainly not used by anyone under the influence of alcohol, he said.

Police do not yet know who owned the guns.

A post mortem was being carried out and the teenager's name was due to be released on Monday.