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Second arrest after man stabbed to death in Taita

News from NZ Police
Police making enquiries into the death of Faapaia Fonoilaepa in Taita on Friday night have arrested a second man.
The 50-year-old was arrested in Hastings last night.

Police allege he was an occupant of the silver station wagon seen leaving the assault.

He has been charged with possession of a firearm and possession of a knife and is due to appear in Hastings District Court this morning.

Police are continuing to make enquiries. The post mortem has been concluded and it has been determined that Mr Fonoilaepa died from a single stab wound.

We have had a great response to our appeal for information and are grateful to the people who have provided information so far. We are still keen to hear from anyone else who may have witnessed the incident. People with information are encouraged to contact Lower Hutt Police on 04 560 2600 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

News from NZ Police – September 17
Police are continuing to investigate the fatal assault in Taita on Friday. The woman witness has been found and is assisting with inquiries.

Police are still looking to speak to the man who was seen leaving the area in a silver station wagon, which was later found in Pringle Street. He is described as Maori, of medium build, aged 30-40, with dark hair and facial tattoos. He was wearing black clothes.

Police believe this man may have been assaulted, and potentially has noticeable facial injuries. Anyone who has knowledge of this man’s whereabouts is encouraged to get in touch with Police as soon as possible. There are concerns for his welfare as he may require medical attention.

Police have also reviewed CCTV footage from several nearby buildings, and have determined that a number of vehicles drove past as the physical altercation unfolded. Any witnesses are urged to get in touch with Police.

Anyone with any information about this incident or the man described above can phone Lower Hutt Police on (04) 560 2600. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

News from NZ Police – September 16
Police are continuing to investigate a fatal assault in Taita on Friday night. The man who died was Faapaia Fonoilaepa, 29, a painter from Avalon. Police are focusing on finding a man who left the scene after the assault. He is described as Maori, of solid build, aged 30-40 years, with dark hair and facial tattoos. He was wearing black clothes.

He initially left the scene on foot, walking in a southerly direction. He then returned to the scene, later leaving in a silver Toyota Carib station wagon. The car is missing its front left hubcap and has some damage to its front left panel and indicator.

The car was seen at the High Street scene for several minutes before it left, travelling north. It was later located in Pringle Street.

The people involved in the assault were not customers of the Big Barrel liquor store – the only link to the store is that the incident occurred nearby. We would however like to thank the owners of Big Barrel for the assistance they have provided the investigation team, including the provision of CCTV footage of activity outside the store.

Police would also like to speak to a woman who was walking north on High Street at the time of the incident (7.30pm) and may have observed something which could assist the investigation. She is of medium build and was wearing dark clothing and carrying a shoulder bag. She had long brown, curly hair and was wearing headphones.

Police are also continuing to seek anyone else who may have been in the area at the time and observed the incident or assisted afterward. Our inquiries have indicated that a number of people came to assist, including some who were driving by and stopped. We would like to hear from anyone we have not yet spoken to and request that they get in touch with us at their earliest convenience.

If you can help, please call Lower Hutt Police on 04 560 2600. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

News from NZ Police – 15 September
Police are seeking witnesses after a 29-year-old man died from injuries sustained in an assault near the intersection of High Street and Burcham Street in Taita at about 7.45pm last night. One man, an associate of the victim, has been charged with assault and released on bail.

Police are seeking a man who was seen leaving the area in a silver station wagon. This vehicle was later located in nearby Pringle Street and has been seized by Police for examination.

This man is described as Maori, of solid build, with dark curly hair and facial tattoos. He was wearing a black top and pants. We believe he may have sustained a facial injury in the incident.

Police would like to speak to anyone who saw the incident or this silver station wagon in the area.

It is also possible that items of interest have been discarded by the occupants of the silver station wagon. Police ask residents in the surrounding areas of Burcham Street, Macky Street, Pringle Street and Churton Crescent to search their sections and surrounding footpath areas for anything that could be of relevance. We’d also like to hear from anyone who may have observed any activity of note in the time shortly after 7.45pm.

Police intend removing the victim from the scene today for post mortem examination, although the scene examination on High St will continue.

Earlier news from NZ Police
A man has died from injuries sustained in an assault in High Street in Taita last night.

Police were called to a fight between a group of men on High Street at 7.45pm. A man was found to have sustained critical injuries. He died at the scene a short time later.

Police have taken one person into custody.

A scene guard was expected to be in place overnight and Police requested that the public avoid High Street between Burcham Street and Macky Street.

Police would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the fight – outside Big Barrel liquor store in High Street, Taita – who has not yet spoken to Police. Please call Lower Hutt Police on 04 560 2600.