A 24-year-old man has appeared briefly in an Auckland court following the fatal shooting on Friday of police officer Constable Matthew Hunt, the wounding of another officer and the injuring of a pedestrian.
The accused’s name and other personal details have been suppressed by the court at the request of the Crown prosecutor.
The reason for the suppression is to protect the integrity of the investigation, as police still had a significant amount of work to do on this inquiry, the prosecutor, David Johnstone, said.
Identifying accused may prejudice proceedings
Mark Edgar, defence lawyer for the accused, said the case had received significant amount of media coverage in the past 24 hours and his client’s rights to a fair trial had to be preserved. He therefore requested an order suppressing all details about his client and objected entirely to the man being filmed or photographed.
The accused is to remain in custody and will appear in the High Court on July 8.
The names of the officer he allegedly shot, plus the pedestrian injured by the getaway car as it left the scene, have both also been suppressed.
Woman sought in connection with case is arrested
Meanwhile, the woman who was allegedly with the accused at the time of the incident was arrested on Saturday, 20 June. She was named by police as Natalie Bracken, who was wanted on driving charges and also as an accessory after the fact to the alleged murder of Constable Hunt.
She was taken into custody without incident, police said, and is due to appear in Waitakere District Court on Monday morning.
Details of late Constable Matthew Hunt
New Zealand Police have released details of the deceased officer, Matthew Hunt, aged 28 of Auckland. He had served with the force since October 2017, a statement said.
In their own statement, Hunt’s family said he attended Orewa College and it was his lifelong dream to be a police officer. Before joining the New Zealand Police, he completed a BA in criminology and worked at Auckland Prison as a case manager.
He also spent time living in the United Kingdom before he returned to New Zealand to join the police force.
In honour of Hunt, the Sky Tower in Auckland was bathed in a blue light. It is often lit to show solidarity or respect.