A man who allegedly fired a pistol at the sky during a violent brawl outside an Auckland bar has “triggered” a scared resident to make the decision to leave the neighbourhood.
Around 20 people armed with what appeared to be bats and metal pipes descended on Shooters Saloon in Kingsland last night, which was hosting a music release party.
A fight ensued outside on New North Rd before a firearm was discharged on Mostyn St and Aitken Terrace, police said.
But one resident who watched it unfold from his nearby home said a pistol was also discharged on New North Rd.
“I literally saw a guy standing in the middle of the road with a gun shooting it into the sky,” said one man who called 111, who the Herald has agreed not to name.
“While I was talking to the policeman … that’s when I saw the guy with the gun. Traffic is trying to drive past, traffic was going crazy.
“There’s a bus stop right there. A bus pulled up and realised this was dodgy so he hit reverse and tried to back up.”
Before the firearm was allegedly discharged, the resident said he had walked onto his stairwell at around 9.20pm after hearing loud bangs, thinking it was fireworks.
“It certainly wasn’t fireworks, it was fighting – metal pipes being hit against stuff and these bangs going off,” the resident told the Herald.
He said he heard “two types” of shots being fired during the brawl involving mostly men, and called police at 9.30pm.
“A lot of people calling out to ‘stop, stop’, and other people responding by saying, ‘I don’t give a f***’, all that sort of stuff.
“Lots of ‘I’m going to kill you’ … all that argie bargie going on, and en masse.”
He said when police arrived the group “scarpered” and the fighting stopped, but before then he was shaken and anxious.
“That 17 minutes between the placement of my 111 call and when the cops actually arrived, seemed like forever to me.
“I just thought if the army doesn’t get here soon, the place is just going to blow to bits.
“It’s the most violent sounds and noise and threats I’ve heard in this country.”
The man said he has previously called police following fights outside Shooters Saloon involving weapons such as wood and pipes, but last night was the first time he saw a firearm involved.
That’s what has prompted him to make the decision to leave Kingsland.
“There is only one thing wrong with Kingsland, and that is Shooters bar.
“They are always drinking out on the street. Always, always, always.
“As a result of last night the decision’s been made. We’re giving notice … we’ve got three little kids.
“We have got to get out of here. It’s too dangerous, it’s too disturbing.”
Shooters Saloon owner Shayne LaRosa said he had to get stitches after he was hit on the head with a bat as he tried to close the premise’s gates to get away from the fighting.
“We were holding the gate shut and someone hit me with a baseball bat across the gate, they lent over the gate and whacked.”
LaRosa said Shooters Saloon was hosting an EP release party and “everything was going good”.
“The crowd has been here before, no problems.
“[It] must be a gang or something turned up. We saw them coming up the road with cricket bats and closed the doors and all hell just went loose.
“The people from in here ran out and it all sort of happened in the street away from us, but they did break a few vehicle windows, they did do some damage.
“This is a freak thing. It hasn’t happened in the 12 years I’ve been here – we’ve never had this sort of thing.”
He said there were no other injuries, and that police are reviewing CCTV footage.
Police are appealing to the public for further information and are still trying to locate those involved. No arrests have been made.
Anyone who has any information is asked to call police on 105, quoting file number 220206/3111.
Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.
Shooters Saloon describes itself as Auckland’s “wildest party house”. It takes bookings for private functions.
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