'He didn't look like a criminal' - liquor store owner shocked friendly robber shot dead

An Auckland liquor store owner has told how a man later shot by police waved a knife at her and told her to open the till after she first thought he was lost and looking for directions.

Slovak David Cerven, 21, was shot and killed in Myers Park in central Auckland last night after he threatened police that he had a gun.

He was wanted by police over the armed robbery of three liquor stores in Auckland's North Shore over the past week.

Deborah Wang has told ONE News she was sitting in her Thirsty Liquor shop in Glenfield watching YouTube on her laptop at 6.25pm last Wednesday when Cerven came in, stood next to the laptop and put a black backpack on top of it.

"I thought he had got lost. I was waiting for him to say which road to go.

Deborah Wang was robbed at knifepoint by David Cerven while working in a liquor store, days before his fatal altercation. Source: 1 NEWS

"He pointed a knife down on my waist already. But I didn't see the knife because I was looking up at him. And he waved the knife and he said 'open the till' so I knew he was doing the robbery," Ms Wang said.

After he fled with $400, Ms Wang says she grabbed her phone to take photos of him and chased him about 10 metres before he ran into another street. 

She then returned to her store, checked her camera for any footage and rang her husband who was working for a friend at another liquor store.

I was quite shocked at first and then I feel quite happy - Thirsty Liquor store owner Deborah Wang

She called 111 and within three minutes police passed her store chasing the man, she says.

Ms Wang says she was shocked when a friend rang this morning and told her the man shot by police last night was the robber.

"I was quite shocked at first and then I feel quite happy and relieved because everything had finished.

"I never saw this guy before. And he looked friendly as well. He didn't look like a  criminal, so I didn't realise he was doing that.

"I didn't realise he was doing a robbery so I was not nervous at all. I didn't realise the police were that efficient to find the guy, I thought it would take a week or two weeks."

Jung Kun Ahn, duty manager of the Harbour City liquor Store in Glenfield, told ONE News David Cerven robbed his store last Saturday at 3.30pm.

"He just showed up with a knife. It was a big kitchen knife. He said 'just put all the cash in the bag'."

He said his staff had dealt with Cerven before and had described him as "really kind" and "friendly."

Meanwhile, police hope to lift the cordon of Myers Park this evening once their scene examination is completed for the homicide investigation into the shooting of Cerven.

Police say the investigation also involves liaison with Cerven's family in Slovakia. 


US President Donald Trump vows to inflict 'severe punishment' on Saudi Arabia if found responsible for journalist’s murder

US President Donald Trump has vowed to inflict "severe punishment" on Saudi Arabia if it is found responsible for the murder of a Washington Post journalist.

Jamal Khashoggi disappeared 11 days after entering Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the BBC reports.

The US President today said there would be "severe punishment", but ruled out the possibility of enforcing sanctions which could rule out hundreds of billions worth of arms sales.

"I actually think we'd be punishing ourselves if we did that," Mr Trump said.

"There are other things we can do that are very, very powerful, very strong, and we'll do that. Now, as of this moment, nobody knows what happened - as of this moment.

"We're looking into it very seriously - Turkey is looking into it at a very high level, at the highest level, and so is Saudi Arabia."

Mr Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in order to obtain papers for his wedding - his fiancee waiting outside - but was not seen leaving the building.

The Saudi Interior Minister dismissed claims Khashoggi's body was dismembered as "lies".

Turkish police have been barred from searching the Saudi consulate.

Jamal Khashoggi disappeared 11 days after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Source: BBC


Greens call to legalise safe drug testing before summer festival season begins

The Green Party wants to see safe drug testing legalised before the summer festival season begins.

Testing has already been taking place at some events, but the practice exists in a legal grey area.

"So no one here is saying that drugs are cool or fun, but we're saying that after decades of trying to say, 'Don't use them,' the reality is that they are being used and they do exist," Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick said. 

"Mums and dads, when they're sending their kids off to festivals, obviously, we'd hope that their kids aren't using these substances, but if they are going to use them, surely, you want to ensure that they're doing so in a safe way where harm is minimised."

Ms Swarbrick is confident that law changes can be made in time for summer, as Health Minister David Clark has already requested advice on what legislative change would look like.

Green MP Chloe Swarbrick wants to see safe drug testing legalised before the summer festival season begins. Source: 1 NEWS


Government has room for improvement to curb mental health crisis, Mental Health Foundation says

It's a good start, but there's more work to do to curb the mental health crisis, the Mental Health Foundation says.

Described as a nationwide "epidemic", the issue took centre stage during last year's election and was a major drawcard for Labour.

Prime Minister and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said at the time, "If you're going to talk about hope, then my view is we need to do something about mental health in this country".

One year on, Ms Ardern says the Government has "moved as quickly as we can" to improve mental health.

Part of the changes include dedicated mental health support in Kaikoura and Canterbury primary and intermediate schools; a $10 million cash injection to pilot free counselling services for under 25s and extended school-based health services to decile four schools.

Mental health campaigner Mike King said the Government "deserves more praise than we are giving them".

However, some say there is still room for improvement, including on the topic of suicide prevention.

Mental Health Foundation CEO Shaun Robinson said, "Now that's definitely been kicked for touch until the inquiry comes back. It does make sense in some respects, but there are probably some things that they could have done".

An overstretched workforce is also proving problematic.

"You know, it's all very well to say, 'We want services' or 'we want to put mental health workers into schools', but are those workers there?" Mr Robinson said.

The Prime Minister recognised the "workforce issue", and said the Government has "tried to scale it up as quickly as we could".

Green MP Chloe Swarbrick has spent the past week talking to university students, where education has also been a recurring concern.

"When somebody falls over and breaks their leg, you know that you call an ambulance, but when somebody's having a mental health breakdown, we currently don't have a go-to resource," Ms Swarbrick said.

The independent inquiry into mental health and addiction - due to report back next month - will form the backbone of the Government's response to the issue. Those on the frontline are keen to see what's implemented - and how quickly.

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a new ship," Mr King said.

"What I fear is going to happen is we're going to continue to throw patches on the old boat."

The Mental Health Foundation says there’s room for improvement in the government’s work on mental health. Source: 1 NEWS

Good Sorts: Meet the Good Sort who failed to finish cross country...twice

This week's Good Sort is Phoenix Horo from Rahotu School, a 45 minute drive from New Plymouth.

Phoenix was nominated by his teachers for failing to finish his school cross country not once, but twice.

Hadyn Jones explains all in the video above. 

Phoenix Horo from Rahotu School was nominated by his teachers. Source: 1 NEWS