Gang members held an apparently unloaded shotgun to a man’s neck in front of his young son and pulled the trigger in a Whakatane street, police have revealed.
The incident happened on the evening of January 20, when gang tensions were high and shots were fired at the funeral of Mongrel Mob member Tahu Kingi in the Bay of Plenty town.
Black Power members had tried to stop a procession of their rivals reaching the town’s crematorium and a road-rage clash left the coffin on the road, according to reports at the time.
Detective sergeant Darren Thomas said the man was driving on Lord Cobham Drive when he was a cut off by a silver car.
Three men, wearing bandanas across their faces, accused of him being a Mongrel Mob member.
One man put a sawn-off shotgun through the window and to the side of the victim’s neck and cocked it.
The man told his son to close his eyes as he thought he was going to be shot in the head.
“The offender with the shotgun then pulled the trigger, the gun went ‘click’ but did not fire,” Mr Thomas said.
“The group then walked back to the silver car laughing and drove away.”
It was an incredibly distressing event for the victims, he said.
“Police believe the man was mistakenly identified as a gang member and for that reason are concerned that the offenders involved in this incident could have gone on to stop other vehicles that night,” Mr Thomas said.
Anyone suffering or witnessing a similar experience was asked to contact police.
Police had already arrested and charged more than 20 people following incidents associated with the funeral. NZN