Man in ‘crazy place’ shot victim who had turned to run

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    Manaia Michael Taki appeared before Justice Jan-Marie Doogue yesterday in the High Court at Invercargill where he pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

    The man was previously facing charges of attempted murder and unlawful possession of a gun but Crown prosecutor William Chapman presented no evidence on the first charge and asked Justice Doogue to withdraw the second one in agreement with Taki’s counsel, Hugo Young.

    The summary of fact states Taki and the victim were socialising at an address in Winton on December 6 last year when an altercation was sparked following a comment about parenting.

    “Heated words were exchanged and the victim challenged the defendant to a fight.”

    Taki went and got a gun from his car then returned to the house, where he fired two or three rounds in the air before getting into his car and driving off.

    After completing skids in the area, he returned to the address and drove backwards and forwards in the victim’s driveway.

    “He later told police that he was intending to crash into the rear of the victim’s vehicle but decided against it.”

    The victim then came out of the house and another fight started.

    The victim walked towards the car and Taki then fired shots in the victim’s direction from a distance of about 5m to 8m.

    The first shot hit the victim in the hand, which he said he was holding up in front of the chest.

    When he turned to run away, he was shot twice in the back.

    The victim underwent emergency surgery.

    “One round came within 1cm of his heart, although none of the rounds penetrated the chest cavity or abdomen and because of this they were not fatal,” the summary states.

    When spoken to by police, Taki told them where the gun and car were, admitted he had fired shots and said he was aware he had hit the victim.

    In explanation, he said he just went to “his crazy place”.

    “He said he was scared but acknowledged that he had the option to just drive away from the conflict before it escalated.”

    Justice Doogue issued Taki with a first-strike warning and remanded him in custody for sentence on July 26.

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