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Exclusive: Elderly war vet found dead hours after Kaitaia gang shooting

A drive-by shooting in Kaitaia in the early hours of this morning may have led to the death of an elderly neighbour.

A friend of the dead man has told ONE News he’s a 71-year-old veteran of the Vietnam war with family in Australia. Source: 1 NEWS

The man's house is not believed to have been the target of the gang-related shooting, but appears to be peppered with bullet holes.

Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said that during the incident, at 4.30am, a 26-year-old man received gunshot wounds.

He's reported to be a patched Black Power member and is in a serious but stable condition after surgery at Whangarei Hospital.

Police later found the body of an elderly man next door and are investigating whether he died of gunshot wounds, or a heart attack.

A friend of the dead man has told ONE News he's a 71-year-old veteran of the Vietnam war with family in Australia.

Police are appealing for information and say tip-offs can be anonymous through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or call Kaitaia Police on 09 408 6500.