23 Jan 2010

Tombstone unveiled for teen killed by stray police bullet

8:56 pm on 23 January 2010

The family of a teenager killed by a police bullet in crossfire between officers and a gunman on Auckland's north western motorway unveiled his tombstone, a year after his death.

Halatau Naitoko, 17, died almost instantly as the Armed Offenders Squad tried to stop Stephen Hohepa McDonald, who was on a drug fueled rampage.

Mr Naitoko's friends and family gathered at Mangere cemetery for an unveiling ceremony on Sunday afternoon, followed by a Tongan feast and speeches back at the family home.

A family spokesperson, Peter Sykes, says people are starting to come to terms with the 17-year-old's death.

He says people have more information now which helps them get a picture of what happened that day.

Mr Sykes says he hopes a coroner's court hearing, which is expected to be completed by April, will answer the remaining questions surrounding Halatau Naitoko's death.