NZ Local News

Whakatāne homicide investigation suggests gang-related death, police condemn ‘retaliatory gang-behaviour’

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Police want to hear from anyone in the area at the time of the incident.

A homicide investigation launched after the death of a man in Whakatāne last night suggests there was a “gang-related disorder incident” before he died.

Police said earlier today a man in his 20s was brought to hospital with life-threatening injuries around 9.40pm on Sunday, but was pronounced dead soon after.

Initial inquiries suggested the man may have suffered his injuries in Tāneatua, and police were investigating there today.

In their latest update, police said they are committed to establishing what has occurred and locating those responsible for the man’s death.

“Initial indications suggest there was a gang-related disorder incident before the man died.

“Police would like to speak to anyone who was in the Ruatoki area and saw or heard anything suspicious between 9pm and 9:45pm,” said Detective Inspector Lew Warner.

They are also seeking anyone with dashcam footage in the area at the time.

“Police have obtained a Gang Conflict Warrant under the Search and Surveillance Act and will not be tolerating any retaliatory gang-behaviour.

“Police will be maintaining a highly visible presence in the area, with extra staff arriving from other districts to support the investigation,” Warner said.

A forensic post-mortem is due to take place tomorrow.

Anyone who had information that could help was asked to contact police on 105, either by phone or online, referencing file number 231211/5404.

Alternatively, information can be passed to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or

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