3 May 2013

Police won't comment on racial link to shooting

9:55 pm on 3 May 2013

Police investigating the shooting of a roadworker have ruled out a gang-related link, but won't say whether or not it was a racial killing.

George Taiaroa, 67, was shot on Tram Road in the Kinleith forest while manning a stop-go sign at a bridge near Atiamuri, south-east of Tokoroa, on 19 March.

Police say they have a prime suspect and know where the person is and what the motive was.

Detective Inspector Tim Anderson on Friday described the motive as being beyond comprehension and believes it would appal most reasonable people.

"It was planned, it was thought through and targeted. I won't offer any other comment to motive, other than to say that we have ruled out anything in relation to gangs, drugs or a mistaken identity."

Mr Anderson thinks the killer operated alone, but would not say when police honed in on the suspect or when there might be an arrest.

He says it was a cold-blooded killing, and anyone who is helping the suspect has a misplaced loyalty and faces criminal charges.

Mr Anderson says neither George Taiaroa nor his family knew the person.