New Zealand police face ‘incredibly tense’ situation in siege of gunman

By Calvin Palmer

The police officer in charge of the siege of a gunman suspected of shooting three police officers in New Zealand said today the situation was “incredibly tense”.

Superintendent Sam Hoyle told a news conference the situation in Napier could end in minutes or could go on for days.

He also revealed that a police dog in a van outside the house on Chaucer Road is thought to be dead.

Hoyle said communications with the gunman, 51-year-old Jan Molenaar, were ongoing, with negotiators calling him and Molenaar calling officers.

Police are also speaking with the former army reservist’s friends and associates to try to better understand his motivations.

Hoyle said Molenaar was a “complex character” and was prone to mood swings. He has a great deal of ammunition and has fired at police using more than one caliber of bullet indicating he has several weapons.

Hoyle added “every resource available to the New Zealand police” was at his disposal. More than 100 officers from both the North and South islands are now at the scene.

The siege started yesterday morning when Senior Constable Leonard Snee, 53, was fatally shot when he approached the Chaucer Road house with two colleagues in what started off as a low-key drugs raid.

Senior Constable Bruce Miller, 40, a community constable in the suburb of Ahuriri, dog handler Senior Constable Grant Diver, 50, and a neighbor were wounded by gunshots.

All are in a critical condition in the intensive care unit at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

Civil Defense confirmed that 160 people had been evacuated from the area around the siege zone, 93 of whom stayed overnight at Napier Intermediate School, while others stayed with friends and family.

A number of residents living just outside the cordon, but still reasonably close to the scene, have been asked to stay in their homes.

Three schools in the area — Napier Central School, Nelson Park School, and Nelson Intermediate – were closed today.

[Based on a report by The New Zealand Herald.]

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3 Comments

Filed under Crime, News

3 responses to “New Zealand police face ‘incredibly tense’ situation in siege of gunman

  1. graham maurirere

    jan molenaar was a guy i worked with on rail and went to the gym with i found him to be a good and calm as guy but if pushed he let you no to back off.jan was a bloke who loved guns and we all knew this at work but he was one big man in size and for him to shoot someone i knew it wont end well for him either he will go out with a bang and i remember him saying years ago your see me on the news and that he is..len snee was a cop we all no from taradale yes he was in your face but he had a job too do and did not need to go out like he did may god bless both family for there lost

  2. kaine

    jan is a legend and a legend he will be RIP BIG MAN LOVE YOU ALWAYS AND YOU WILL BE IN OUR HEARTS 4 EVER…WE`LL SEE YOU WHEN WE GET THERE…….

  3. baza

    Snee should have done something more worthwhile with his life.
    Many people are angry at police for continuing to hunt cannabis growers.

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