BREAKING | Man charged after Australian tourist shot dead in New Zealand

UPDATE @ August 17, 11.30 AM: The man accused of murdering Australian tourist Sean McKinnon in a violent carjacking in New Zealand will remain behind bars.

The 23-year-old, who can’t be named for legal reasons, appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Saturday, charged with murder, robbery causing grievous bodily harm, threatening to kill, and driving while disqualified.

He was taken into custody at a rural property in Waikato around 11.00pm last night following a major manhunt.

McKinnon’s older sister, Emmeline McKinnon spoke outside court a short time ago, describing the heartbreak the family is going through.

“We love him very deeply. We were devastated to hear that his life had been taken from him,” she said.

“We just don’t even know how to begin to put life together.”

She said their priority now is Mr McKinnon’s fiancée Bianca Buckley, who managed to run for her life after the gunman stormed their campervan in in Raglan around 3.20am Friday.

“I cannot even begin to understand what she’s gone through. She’s a really strong young woman,” she said.

“We’re just really glad she’s alive.”

The man has been remanded in custody, to reappear in court on August 27.

EARLIER @ August 17, 8.00 AM: A MAN has been arrested over the murder of an Australian tourist who was shot dead in a violent carjacking in New Zealand.

Armed police swarmed a rural property in Waikato around 11.00pm last night after receiving a tip-off from a member of the public, where they took a 23-year-old local man into custody.

He’s since been charged with murder, aggravated robbery and threaten to kill and will appear in the Hamilton District Court later this morning.

Victorian man Shaun McKinnon was asleep in a campervan in Raglan with his Canadian fiancée Bianca Buckley, when they were woken by a man banging on their window around 3.20am Friday.

It’s alleged the gunman demanded the keys to the van before shooting the 33-year-old Australian tourist, in what police say was a “tragic random attack.”

His fiancée managed to escape and ran for her life to a nearby farmhouse where she raised the alarm with police.

The gunman then travelled 80 kilometres in the stolen van with the Australian man’s body still inside, before dumping the vehicle and fleeing, sparking the major manhunt.

New Zealand Police say the female victim is “shocked and traumatised” but is thankful an arrest has been made in 24 hours.

The family of Mr McKinnon has also been spoken to by Police this morning and advised of the arrest.

“This is a traumatic time for his family and his partner and the New Zealand Police we will do everything we can to provide them with support they need,” Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said.

“I want to thank those in our community who contacted Police with information and assisted us with our investigation.”

“We know this was an alarming incident that shocked people right across New Zealand and overseas.”

“We want to reassure the community that the safety of our community is our priority and we will do everything we can to find those responsible for serious crimes and hold them to account.”

EARLIER @ August 16: AN Australian tourist has been shot dead and his girlfriend has been forced to run for her life after a gunman stole their campervan in New Zealand.

New Zealand Police have confirmed the pair were sleeping in their van in Raglan, when they were woken by a man banging on their window around 3.20am Friday.

The man demanded the keys to the van before shooting the 33-year-old Australian tourist, in what police have descried as a random attack.

“This is a tragic incident, inquiries indicate that this is a random attack,” Inspector Graham Pitkethley said.

“It is concerning to have an armed offender outstanding but I want to reassure the public we are working hard to identify and locate the offender.”

The man’s 32-year-old Canadian girlfriend miraculously managed to escape and phoned police from a nearby location.

A major manhunt is currently underway in Waikato, with the gunman still at large.

The stolen van, a 2017 white Toyota Hiace, was found on Gordonton Road around 8am this morning with the Australian man’s body inside.

Police say they are currently working to notify his family.

Officers are assisting the woman, who they say is shocked and distressed.

Indonesian police officer

Australian woman detained in Bali over fatal crash

An Australian woman is being held in Bali after the car she was driving allegedly hit a moped, killing a local man.

Indonesian police said the 49-year-old Sydney woman was attempting to overtake a truck when her car collided with a motorcycle in the Gilimanuk village on Wednesday.

The location is about three hours from the Balinese capital Denpasar.

According to local police, the woman didn’t have an Australian or International licence on her at the time.

The 19-year-old rider died at the scene.

Investigations into the crash are ongoing.

Police America

Multiple police officers shot in ‘active shooting’ in Philadelphia

An active shooter situation is unfolding in the United States, with six police officers shot by a gunman in Philadelphia.

It’s understood the suspect has barricaded himself inside a home in the city’s Nicetown-Tioga section, where he is still firing from.

Local police are warning people to avoid the area, declaring the situation is still “ACTIVE AND ONGOING”.

They’re attempting to communicate with the gunman to get him to surrender.

News helicopters and media using drones are also being told to stay away from the area as they “hinder operations”.

The injured officers have been rushed to Temple University Hospital, however their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Philadelphia Sergeant Eric Gripp said a number of other officers are also being treated for “non-gunshot injuries”.

Temple University has been placed into lock down, with students told to seek shelter.

More to come.

Police Crime Scene

BREAKING | Canadian Police reveal how teen murder suspects died

It’s finally been revealed how the two teenagers suspected of killing three innocent strangers, including Australian man Lucas Fowler, died.

According to Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod died from “suicide by gunfire”.

In a statement released on Monday local time, police said the pair had died a number of days before they were found.

It’s not clear when exactly the pair died, however “there are strong indications that they had been alive for a few days since they were last seen in July and during the extensive search efforts in the Gillam area,” police said.

It’s understood two firearms were found alongside the bodies.

“Forensic analysis is underway in order to definitively confirm that these weapons are connected with the northern BC homicide investigations.”

The bodies of Australian man Lucas Fowler and his US girlfriend Chynna Deese were found murdered on the side of a highway in British Columbia last month.

The teens are also alleged to have killed a third man, Leonard Dyck, just four days later.

If you are in immediate danger call 000 now.  If you require advice or assistance, the following services can offer counselling and support:
Lifeline 13 11 14
| visit website
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
| visit website
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
| visit website
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
| visit website

Plane

“Exercise a high degree of caution” Australian flights to Hong Kong cancelled as protests ramp-up

Anyone flying to or from Hong Kong are being warned of major disruptions and cancellations as a result of mass protests.

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have descended on Hong Kong’s International Airport, with the airport revealing in a statement that the protests have “seriously disrupted” operations.

Australian travellers are being urged to check with their airline, with Qantas and Virgin both cancelling a number of flights due to take off from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane overnight and this morning.

It’s understood the airlines are trying to work out when services can resume again.

The Australian Government’s Smartraveller website is warning people to exercise a high degree of caution while in Hong Kong.

“Flash mob protests and random attacks on protesters have become less predictable and are expected to continue,” it says.

“Tourist and residential areas have been affected. There is a high risk of violent confrontation between protestors and police, or criminally-linked individuals.”