Upper Hutt Shooting- "Babe There's An Armed Guy Sitting Next To Me In McDonald's"

Publish Date
Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 7:35AM

It was an ordinary day in Upper Hutt - until the gunshots rang out. Armed with a high-powered rifle, a man in his 20s made his way to McDonald's on Main Street.

He fired two shots while walking along the drive-through, and people began to call 111. It was 12.30pm. Within an hour the man was dead, shot by police.

At 12.41pm, Chris Atkinson received a text message from his wife, who was inside McDonald's. "Babe, there's an armed guy sitting next to me in the restaurant," it read.

"She said that he stood up and told everyone that he had a weapon and they should leave," Mr Atkinson said.

John Philipson, 84, was "within a couple of arm lengths" from the gunman in the family restaurant.

"All of a sudden I heard what I thought was a firecracker. I thought it was those bloody kids and then I looked up and saw a guy with a rifle. I was about to remonstrate with him and try to placate him but a bloke behind me says, 'Come on John, he means business, we've got to get out'.

"My natural instinct was to have a go ... just as I was about to leave I looked up [at the gunman] and he says, 'You're all right, away you go'."

Mr Philipson ended up in the nearby Subway restaurant, and the gunman appeared outside.

"He was shouting obscenities to everyone and sundry ... he was standing there like Buck Rogers with his rifle."

The gunman was confronted by armed police and pointed his rifle at the officers.

"They let the police dog go. It went for him. It got a hold of him. As it was running to him he tried to shoot it, but he wasn't a very good shot so he missed the dog and the police of course shot him and that was it.

"I saw him go down and ultimately I saw the police ... they did CPR on him and they were pushing his chest for quite some time until the paramedics arrived."

Theo Modlik said he also watched the drama unfold.

"I heard two gunshots about 5-10 seconds apart at around 12.30pm. Police began to arrive and about half an hour later I watched them ... let the dog rush at him and then he raised his rifle and then they shot him.

"During the standoff I heard him yell 'they're harassing me' and 'hurry up and ******* shoot me. Kill me you *****. Hurry and ******* shoot me, I want to die'."

Multiple investigations into the shooting are under way by the police, coroner and Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Source- NZ Herald