A month on from shooting family wants action

Khan Koia, now nine recovers from slug gun wound. Picture supplied
Khan Koia. Picture supplied
Bullet holes on a Ptutahi power pole. Picture supplied

Gisborne police have twice searched a Patutahi address but cannot find any evidence to link it to an incident where a young boy was shot with a slug gun last month.

The nine-year-old boy, who was eight at the time of the incident, was Khan Koia. He was on a quad bike around 5.20pm on Tuesday, March 5, on a semi-rural road down from his home.

While stopped on a gravel patch opposite the Patutahi address, and out of the blue, Khan felt a sudden pain in his arm and it began to bleed. He did not hear the shot over the noise of the quad bike engine.

Khan immediately drove home and showed his parents. He was taken to hospital where an X-ray confirmed a slug pellet lodged in the tissue of his right forearm.

Khan had to have surgery the following day to remove the pellet. The surgeon told his mother, Kim Tupara, the pellet had narrowly missed a main nerve and bone.

“If it hadn’t, Khan would have lost all use of his arm,” she said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Ford said last month’s incident was reported to police by Gisborne Hospital around 7.30pm on the day Khan was shot.

“Police attended and an investigation was commenced.

“As part of the investigation police have twice searched an address of interest.”

Detective Ford said the second time the address was searched extensively because it was under a search warrant.

“No evidence linked to the incident was located. Police have also interviewed the boy, his family and witnesses.

“Based on inquiries so far there is not the evidential sufficiency to prosecute anyone in relation to the incident.

“Victim Support are in contact with the victim, and his family are being kept updated on the investigation.”

A response from the house searched said they too were distressed the boy was shot.

“No one at the property that has been searched was responsible. It is our desire that the police find, arrest and charge the shooter.

“We also trust the police will lay charges against the two men who invaded our home and the one that carried out an assault.”

Ms Tupara said it was three days after her son was shot that police searched the house properly with a warrant.

The family and members of the wider Patutahi community are frustrated about the slow response, and that police have not been more forthcoming with information.

Ms Tupara said police had not spoken to neighbours, or orchard workers nearby. People working in a Patutahi orchard had told her about a large number of apparent slug pellet holes in two power poles outside the property where Khan was shot.

“I had to continue to call and chase up and get information about the investigation, which is frustrating.

“Khan is scared to play outside and worried why no one is being put in jail and held accountable for this incident.

“Him knowing that nothing is being done is hard for him to understand.

“A kid was shot, and a gun was involved.”

Ms Tupara said her son could have been killed, and does not believe the incident has been treated seriously enough.

“Wouldn’t you want to protect the community, and help protect us?”

Her son had been offered free counselling by a private counsellor in the region, who heard about the incident and made time to fit him in.

“Victim Support messaged me last week to ask if we needed counselling.”

As well as the two power poles with holes in them by the property, and Khan being shot, Ms Tupara had also been contacted by a woman whose car was hit by a slug pellet in the same spot in July 2016.

The family is asking anyone who may have heard about either shooting, heard shots fired at the power poles, or seen anyone acting suspiciously around Patutahi, to come forward.

A Patutahi resident said police had not informed or warned any residents nearby when the 2016 incident happened, or questioned them to see if anything was heard or seen.

The 2016 shooting happened on July 4 at 11.30am, at the same place Khan was shot.

Detective Ford said there was no link between last month’s incident and the 2016 shooting.

But the person who it happened to almost three years ago disagrees. In a Facebook message to the family, Tiana Hindmarsh wrote she and her partner were driving in her mother’s car to Gisborne airport to fly home to Australia.

“We got to (the address) where we were hit with a slug pellet.

“It smashed through the passenger’s side window.

“The impact was so massive and loud I went into shock.”

Ms Hindmarsh, who was driving, said she saw a man running very quickly to the house.

“I immediately spun the car around and went up the drive to approach him on what he had done and why.

“He denied the whole thing.”

The woman said the house was the only one there.

“So where else could the slug pellet have come from?

“As soon as I phoned the police it took nearly an hour for them to reach the scene.

“They located the slug pellet stuck in the seat cover of the car.”

The woman and her partner had to leave the car behind.

“We had a family member take us to the airport and we were told the cops would be in contact with us, but no contact was made.

“It was also very heart-breaking and frustrating giving Mum’s car back with a smashed window that we had to pay for and repair because no weapon was found. Yet again he got away with it. Now it’s 2019 and it has happened again but this time to a nine-year-old boy.

“I’m lost for words.”

Gisborne police have twice searched a Patutahi address but cannot find any evidence to link it to an incident where a young boy was shot with a slug gun last month.

The nine-year-old boy, who was eight at the time of the incident, was Khan Koia. He was on a quad bike around 5.20pm on Tuesday, March 5, on a semi-rural road down from his home.

While stopped on a gravel patch opposite the Patutahi address, and out of the blue, Khan felt a sudden pain in his arm and it began to bleed. He did not hear the shot over the noise of the quad bike engine.

Khan immediately drove home and showed his parents. He was taken to hospital where an X-ray confirmed a slug pellet lodged in the tissue of his right forearm.

Khan had to have surgery the following day to remove the pellet. The surgeon told his mother, Kim Tupara, the pellet had narrowly missed a main nerve and bone.

“If it hadn’t, Khan would have lost all use of his arm,” she said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Ford said last month’s incident was reported to police by Gisborne Hospital around 7.30pm on the day Khan was shot.

“Police attended and an investigation was commenced.

“As part of the investigation police have twice searched an address of interest.”

Detective Ford said the second time the address was searched extensively because it was under a search warrant.

“No evidence linked to the incident was located. Police have also interviewed the boy, his family and witnesses.

“Based on inquiries so far there is not the evidential sufficiency to prosecute anyone in relation to the incident.

“Victim Support are in contact with the victim, and his family are being kept updated on the investigation.”

A response from the house searched said they too were distressed the boy was shot.

“No one at the property that has been searched was responsible. It is our desire that the police find, arrest and charge the shooter.

“We also trust the police will lay charges against the two men who invaded our home and the one that carried out an assault.”

Ms Tupara said it was three days after her son was shot that police searched the house properly with a warrant.

The family and members of the wider Patutahi community are frustrated about the slow response, and that police have not been more forthcoming with information.

Ms Tupara said police had not spoken to neighbours, or orchard workers nearby. People working in a Patutahi orchard had told her about a large number of apparent slug pellet holes in two power poles outside the property where Khan was shot.

“I had to continue to call and chase up and get information about the investigation, which is frustrating.

“Khan is scared to play outside and worried why no one is being put in jail and held accountable for this incident.

“Him knowing that nothing is being done is hard for him to understand.

“A kid was shot, and a gun was involved.”

Ms Tupara said her son could have been killed, and does not believe the incident has been treated seriously enough.

“Wouldn’t you want to protect the community, and help protect us?”

Her son had been offered free counselling by a private counsellor in the region, who heard about the incident and made time to fit him in.

“Victim Support messaged me last week to ask if we needed counselling.”

As well as the two power poles with holes in them by the property, and Khan being shot, Ms Tupara had also been contacted by a woman whose car was hit by a slug pellet in the same spot in July 2016.

The family is asking anyone who may have heard about either shooting, heard shots fired at the power poles, or seen anyone acting suspiciously around Patutahi, to come forward.

A Patutahi resident said police had not informed or warned any residents nearby when the 2016 incident happened, or questioned them to see if anything was heard or seen.

The 2016 shooting happened on July 4 at 11.30am, at the same place Khan was shot.

Detective Ford said there was no link between last month’s incident and the 2016 shooting.

But the person who it happened to almost three years ago disagrees. In a Facebook message to the family, Tiana Hindmarsh wrote she and her partner were driving in her mother’s car to Gisborne airport to fly home to Australia.

“We got to (the address) where we were hit with a slug pellet.

“It smashed through the passenger’s side window.

“The impact was so massive and loud I went into shock.”

Ms Hindmarsh, who was driving, said she saw a man running very quickly to the house.

“I immediately spun the car around and went up the drive to approach him on what he had done and why.

“He denied the whole thing.”

The woman said the house was the only one there.

“So where else could the slug pellet have come from?

“As soon as I phoned the police it took nearly an hour for them to reach the scene.

“They located the slug pellet stuck in the seat cover of the car.”

The woman and her partner had to leave the car behind.

“We had a family member take us to the airport and we were told the cops would be in contact with us, but no contact was made.

“It was also very heart-breaking and frustrating giving Mum’s car back with a smashed window that we had to pay for and repair because no weapon was found. Yet again he got away with it. Now it’s 2019 and it has happened again but this time to a nine-year-old boy.

“I’m lost for words.”

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Charmaine Fouhy - 1 month ago
This is a very serious crime, it could have clearly resulted in more life threatening injuries or even death. Add the trauma Khan and his Whanau now deal with plus the fact of the July 2016 incident. It should be more of a priority to solve the issue. Although I'm disappointed, like many must feel by the Police response thus far, I'm definately not surprised, having been the victim of crime several times. This has also left me being the victim of the Police and court system failures. Until these inadequate systems are overhauled we must face the fact that criminals will often have the upper hand while law-abiding citizens have to cope with the fallout or find ways to defend themselves. Shameful.

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