Accused denies murdering Constable Matthew Hunt

Constable Matthew Hunt was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in Auckland. Image: NZ Police.

The man charged over the shooting of Auckland police officer Matthew Hunt in West Auckland last month has pleaded not guilty.

The 28-year-old Waitematā police officer was shot during a routine traffic stop in the Auckland suburb of Massey on June 19.

Another police officer was also shot in the leg after being fired on more than a dozen times.

The shooting triggered a large manhunt by the police, including the Armed Offenders Squad, across Auckland that ended in the arrests of a 24-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman.

The man and woman, who both have name suppression, briefly appeared in the High Court at Auckland this morning.

A number of police officers were in the public gallery at the hearing.

The man is charged with murder, attempted murder and dangerous driving. The woman has been charged with being an accessory to murder.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty through their lawyers.

Justice Moore continued name suppression for the pair and remanded them both in custody until a trial next year.

The plea comes the day before Matthew is due to be farewelled at a large private funeral at Eden Park.

Constable Hunt's casket and family will arrive at, and leave, Eden Park by motorcade. There will also be an honour guard, police piper, and flag presentation to his family.

His funeral had been pushed back after family members coming from overseas had to enter isolation facilities as per the COVID-19 restrictions.

Constable Hunt and the other police officer were shot after failing to stop a vehicle around 10.30am on June 19. They found the vehicle crashed a short time later on Reynella Drive in Massey and as they approached, a man got out armed with a long-barrelled gun and opened fire.

A man who had been loading things into his car on the side of the road was also injured when a vehicle hit him.

He and the injured officer were hospitalised and have since been discharged.

Last month, Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan said Constable Hunt had only been in the police for two and a half years, mostly serving in Orewa.

"Matt is an outstanding police officer, he passionately expressed his desire to serve his community.

"He was killed serving his country, there is no higher price."

Earlier in the month, police across the country held a one minute's silence in honour of the constable and Police Commissioner Andrew Coster ordered all police flags to be flown at half mast throughout the day.

Jean Bell/RNZ.




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2 Comments

Pled

Posted on 09-07-2020 19:40 | By morepork

Our laws require us to believe people innocent until proven guilty. It is a right and proper form of justice. But sometimes it is very hard to do... I’ll be interested to see how they expect to defend this.

R.I.P

Posted on 08-07-2020 22:04 | By Yadick

Thank you for your service Constable Hunt.

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