A man has been charged with the murder of a police officer in New Zealand – the first police officer killed in the line of duty in at least a decade.
The 24-year-old, who cannot be identified due to court orders, appeared by video link in Waitakere District Court on Saturday.
He did not enter a plea and has been remanded in custody until his appearance at Auckland High Court on 8 July.
Image: The man charged with murder cannot be identified due to court orders
Constable Matthew Hunt, 28, was fatally shot while carrying out a routine traffic stop in the Auckland suburb of Massey on Friday morning.
A second police officer was shot in the leg and a member of the public was also injured. Both are in a stable condition in hospital, police said.
A woman, Natalie Jane Bracken, 30, is being sought by police on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact to Constable Hunt’s murder.
Image: A second officer and a member of the public were also injured
Being a police officer had been a “lifelong dream” for Constable Hunt, according to a family statement released by NZ Police.
He had attended school and university in New Zealand, as well as working at a prison in Auckland.
He also spent some time living in the UK before returning to New Zealand to join the police in 2017.
Image: Flowers were left outside the Henderson Police station after the death of Mr Hunt
The statement said: “Matthew was a person of great integrity.
“His closest friends were like his brothers and sisters and they along with his family are absolutely heartbroken by what has happened.”
Gun violence is rare in New Zealand and Constable Hunt is one of 22 officers to have been fatally shot since 1890.
Since 2002, 15 officers have been injured by firearms, according to news website Stuff.co.nz.
Source : Sky News