Island gunman ‘dead’
Escaped prisoner Chris Rimamotu, who allegedly shot and killed two people in Rarotonga Wednesday, is believed to have shot himself dead this morning.
Earlier today, armed police officers spotted Rimamotu in Titikaveka and surrounded the property where the alleged gunman was hiding. [restrict]
Negotiations between police and Rimamotu are believed to have gone on for a couple of hours.
Sources told CI News that shots had been fired by the armed escapee this morning.
Shortly after 11am (CI time) police posted a message on Facebook saying the “situation” with Chris Rimamotu had been contained.
“It is now safe for the community in regards to this matter. However, we still urge common sense with securing your homes,” the statement said.
“The next update will come as a media release from the Commissioner of Police. We thank the community for your patience.
“Please, this is still a live investigation, so there will not be any release of information until the investigation is completed. This will be the last post in regards to this matter.”
Rimamotu gunned down a man and a woman in Vaimaanga yesterday afternoon.
The two victims were said to have been known to Rimamotu, who is believed to have been in jail on abduction charges.
Sources have told CI News the weapon he possessed was probably a .22 calibre rifle.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand family of the woman shot dead say they want to bring her young son home safe.
Mary Dean’s family in Mary’s South Waikato hometown of Tokoroa said they received news that she and her partner had been shot from an extended family member in Rarotonga about 6pm on Wednesday.
Her two daughters, aged 18 and 21 and a son all from a previous relationship, and a sister were among family gathering at the family home in Tokoroa in shock and anger, family spokesperson Patrick Tavai said.
“Obviously everyone is very traumatised, we are a very close knit family so everybody is just upset.
“There’s confusion and a lot of anger and grief. We gathered last night and could only look at each other and get angry.”
With no immediate family in the Cook Islands, Tavai said the main concern was to reach Mary’s nine-year-old son.
“Ensuring he is kept safe and brought back to New Zealand, that’s the concern. We think he is safe but we’re not sure if he is with police – I’m sure police have got him covered as he could be a target as well.”
Cook Islands journalist Flo Syme-Buchanan had said the victims were the ex-wife of the alleged offender and her new partner, both of whom were understood to have died as a result of gunshot wounds. SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS NEWS/STUFF NZ/PACNEWS [/restrict]