11 Jul 2008

Prayers at site where Porirua policeman killed

10:35 am on 11 July 2008

A brief ceremony has taken place at the street in Titahi Bay north of Wellington where a Porirua police officer was killed in the early hours of Friday morning.

The officer has been named as Sergeant Derek Wootton, 52.

Police say he was hit by a stolen car being pursued in Titahi Bay, about 3am.

Police say it appears Sergeant Wootton had laid road spikes across Dimock Street when he was struck by the car, as it went through the spikes. He died at the scene.

The vehicle, which the police say had been car-jacked in Tawa, was stopped about 300 metres further up the street.

Colleagues of Sergeant Wootton gathered at the scene shortly before 8am on Friday, when a prayer was said, and the area blessed.

Wellington Police District Commander Superintendent Pieri Munro says Sergeant Wootton was a very experienced frontline supervisor who joined police in 1994.

Kapiti Mana Area Police Commander, Inspector John Spence, says the sergeant's tragic death in the line of duty has devastated colleagues.

Welfare support is in place for Sergeant Wootton's family and for colleagues, especially those first to the scene.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor says police throughout the country will be feeling the loss of a fellow officer.

A 32-year-old man was due to appear in the Porirua District Court on Friday morning.

He has been charged with aggravated robbery of a vehicle and dangerous driving causing death, and faces a charge of kidnapping which relates to a 16-year-old in the vehicle