30 Jun 2009

Christchurch gunman's family apologises to victims

10:22 pm on 30 June 2009

The family of a paraplegic gunman who shot and wounded a police officer and one of his neighbours in Christchurch on Sunday has apologised on his behalf.

Shayne Sime, 42, was killed by police after firing more than 100 rounds from his home in Waldhurst Place in the suburb of Burnside.

In a statement on Tuesday, family friend Ann Hicks said Mr Sime's family apologised to his victims and everyone else affected by the siege.

Ms Hicks said Mr Sime was a loving son, brother and father of two sons, and a good person.

He suffered head trauma when he was 24, from which he developed a spinal disorder. Over time, the condition wasted his muscle to the point where he was confined to a wheelchair.

Ms Hicks says Mr Sime's cheeky sense of humour was instrumental in giving him the strength to overcome his condition. Before the head injury, he was a fisherman and almost a black belt in karate.

Police say Mr Sime's mental health and whether he was fit to hold a firearms licence is part of their investigation.

Many people are still unable to return to their homes as Waldhurst Place is still being examined by police.

However, Guildford Street reopened to residents and traffic on Tuesday.