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Monday, 28 July 2008

23 year-old man has been charged with assault following the fatal drive-by shooting of Waikato man Desmond Arahanga

23 year-old man has been charged with assault following the fatal drive-by shooting of Waikato man Desmond Arahanga. The victim's family is calling for calm after a house in the small community of Waharoa was torched, apparently in retribution for the killing. The accused man appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Monday on assault charges, while Arahanga's family is tying to cope with their loss."The offender appeared in court this morning where we applied for him to be remanded without plea, we're hopeful this arrest will go someway in lessening the tension prevailing in the Waharoa community at this time," says Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Nicholls of Waikato CIB.The 28-year-old victim leaves behind two young children, and another on the way. His life ended in a blaze of gun fire in a drive-by shooting outside this house, where his family was celebrating a birthday.
"(His) children will never ever grow up to see their father," says Ria Kaukau, Arahanga's aunt.He was shot four times, but his family don't want to speculate about why."All I know is this, they didnt have to resort to a gun," says Kaukau.
Earlier on Monday, a firearm was located near a Hedley Street address, which is part of the homicide enquiry.The same Hedley St address, believed to be linked to those responsible for the shooting, was itself torched in a suspicious fire about 9pm on Sunday night. Police have confirmed accelerant was used.
Detective Senior Sergeant Nicholls says a separate team is investigating the fire and their inquiry will run parallel with the homicide investigation.
"What we are dealing with is a single, very serious incident that has cost someone his life and now what appears to be a retaliatory suspicious fire," says Nicholls.
He says there was no-one at the scene when the fire broke out because police and ESR scientists had already completed their scene examination.
Neighbours are reluctant to appear on camera but one has told ONE News that shortly before the fire started he heard the sound of breaking glass then a massive explosion.Meanwhile, Arahanga's family say they don't want to see anymore violence in their boy's name."There has been enough blood shed, and enough hurting, just stop where it is at," says his aunt."To the parents of the children who did it, in time we will heal and we don't hold anything against you as the parents," she says.Police have not ruled out more arrests or laying more serious charges.



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