27 Jul 2017

Suspected killer had been aggressive, victim's friend says

1:47 pm on 27 July 2017

Quinn Patterson, the suspected killer of two Whangarei property managers had been difficult and aggressive, a friend of the women says.

Wendy Campbell, 60, and her daughter, Natanya Campbell, 37, were shot dead when they went to the house yesterday morning, when the occupant opened fire. The women were dead when police arrived.

A family member has confirmed Mr Patterson was the tenant at the house, and also the gunman.

Ms Campbell ran Seek n Find Property Management in Whangarei with her husband.

The scene at the Whareora end of police cordon

Heavy police cordons were in place while police tried to negotiate with the gunman yesterday. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

Julie Pepper, also a property manager, said Ms Campbell went to the house yesterday with a contractor to install smoke alarms.

Wendy Campbell

Victim Wendy Campbell. Photo: LinkedIn

She said Ms Campbell had only recently taken over managing the rural property on Mt Tiger Road and found Mr Patterson difficult to deal with and reluctant to give her access.

The 60-year-old had also been worried Mr Patterson was using drugs, because of his hostile behaviour, and from what she had seen of the house, Ms Pepper said.

Ms Pepper said every property manager in the area would be feeling sick to their stomach at what happened to the two women.

Her friend had only just taken on her daughter as a trainee in the property management firm, she said. It is understood Natanya was the mother of young children.

The contractor who had gone with the women to the house was injured in the shooting, but escaped the scene in a red Suzuki. He was in a stable condition this morning in Whangarei Hospital.

Yesterday the red car could be seen through the cordon with a bullet hole in its windscreen.

A friend of Ms Campbell described her as a friendly, pleasant person and said the violent deaths were a terrible shock.

The friend, who also worked in real estate, said a number of tenants were using methamphetamine and agents in Whangarei and Auckland were increasingly dealing with aggressive behaviour.

Police have yet to officially release the name of the gunman or comment on whether methamphetamine might have been involved in the double killing.

Investigation begins

It is believed Mr Patterson either died in the fire that started at the house, burning it to the ground, after the police used tear gas, or that he was shot in an exchange of gunfire with officers.

Police said he had refused to reply to negotiators, who had tried all day to persuade him to surrender.

Superintendent Russell Le Prou described how armed officers escorted medical staff onto the property to see whether the two women could be saved.

He said police did everything they could and entered the property despite knowing there was an active shooter there.

"[Armed Offenders Squad] staff formed a shield around medically trained police staff but tragically there was nothing we could do."

Specialist fire investigators were due to begin work at the property, north of Parua Bay, earlier today.

RNZ reporter Lois Williams said the entrance to the property was guarded overnight and a police truck was parked outside this morning.

The remains of the house had smouldered until about 2am, she said.

The bodies of the women would be removed today and the scene would be blessed by a local kaumātua, police said.