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At around 6pm Saturday 14 November 2009 there was a confrontation between two groups of youths at Branford Park, near Nelson city.
A shotgun was produced and discharged, resulting in the death of a 22 year old Nelson man.
The offender and his 3 associates left the area in a white single cab ute with a canopy and to date have not been located.
Investigation head, Detective Inspector John Winter, said the identity of the deceased was known, and his family were currently trying to contact other relatives.
Detective Inspector Winter said it was unknown at this stage how the two groups came together, or the reasons behind the confrontation. It appeared a baseball bat had also been used in the fight, and one associate of the deceased had suffered moderate head injuries. He was currently being treated at Nelson Hospital. The victim's friends were badly traumatised by the incident.
Detective Inspector Winter said the identity of the offenders was known, and he urged the group to make contact with police at the earliest opportunity. He believed they were still in possession of the shotgun, which made them a high risk for police and the community at large.
The body of the victim will remain in situ overnight. The Coroner has been advised, and ESR support staff will arrive in Nelson tomorrow to assist with the scene examination.
Detective Inspector Winter advises that the Nelson AOS have taken 4 persons into custody in connection with the shooting death of a Nelson man. The men were located at a Richmond address during a deliberate AOS operation.
Mr Winter said he was pleased that the matter had moved towards an early resolution and that no one else had been harmed.
Tomorrow would see a scene examination being conducted of the Branford Park area, and the removal of the body for later post-mortem. A number of witnesses would require interview or re-interviews as Detectives pieced together the chain of events that resulted in the shooting.
No decision had yet been made on the charges that the group would face. The scene remains under guard overnight.