There were tense moments in the Christchurch District Court this morning as several people stood and shouted in support of a man police allege to be a senior gang member.
The 27-year-old accused, who was given interim name suppression, was arrested in the Canterbury township of Waipara yesterday on multiple firearm related charges. Police say he was wanted for more than a year before he was apprehended.
When he appeared before the court through a video-link, 15 men and woman stood in the public gallery of the courthouse and raised their fists.
At one point the judge had to issue a warning, and threatened to clear the court, after several men shouted a chant in support of the accused.
He faces charges of discharging a .357 firearm with reckless disregard for the safety of others, possessing 23 live shotgun rounds without lawful purpose and unlawful possession of a military-style semi-automatic shotgun.
He did not request bail and will next appear later this month, with interim name suppression to be reassessed at his next appearance.
No pleas were entered at this stage.