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Operation Mainland Release 5

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A firearm located close to an address linked to yesterday's alleged drive-by shooting in Waharoa has been taken away for forensic analysis.

The rifle was located adjacent to a Hedley St address that fell victim to a suspicious fire overnight.

Enquiry head, Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Nicholls, said as a result of the fire, which happened shortly after 9pm, a separate investigative team had been assembled.

"That team's enquiry will run parallel to the ongoing homicide investigation," he said.

No overnight scene guard had been present at the address when the fire broke out because the Police and ESR examination had been completed and the property signed over to the occupants that afternoon.

"The signing over took place at about 4.10pm," said Mr Nicholls.

Police reiterated calls for calm in the local community and reinforced yesterday's message that the fatal shooting of Matamata man, Desmond Francis Paddy ARAHANGA, 28, was not the result of gang tensions.

"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.

"We would ask again that people make the Police aware of any information they have on what occurred, not listen to rumours and speculation, and allow the investigation teams to carry out their enquiries," said Mr Nicholls.

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