Police are warning of escalating tensions between the Black Power and Mongrel Mob gangs after weekend shooting incidents in Taradale and Ruatoria.
The first clash between the rival gangs occurred on Saturday morning following reports of shots fired between the occupants of two vehicles and a person at a residential address on McClutchie Road, Ruatoria, according to police.
Police say one of the vehicles, a white Toyota Hilux, left the address at speed before crashing on Waiomatatini Road.
The occupants fled the scene before another person arrived and removed firearms from the crashed vehicle, according to police.
The second incident occurred on Gloucester Street in Taradale, Napier yesterday around 1.15pm.
A firearm was discharged during a fight that police say involved 30 to 40 Black Power and Mongrel Mob members.
A 25-year-old man received injuries to his head, face and torso from a single gunshot.
He remains in a serious but stable condition at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.
One of the pellets discharged was later found to have struck the rear of a child’s car seat, police report.
“Fortunately the child was unharmed, but this behaviour is completely unacceptable and we are determined to hold those responsible to account,” says detective inspector Rob Jones.
“Tensions between the Mongrel Mob and Black Power have continued to escalate in recent months with police investigating a number of serious incidents and outbreaks of violence in public places – many of which have been witnessed by members of the public.
“Police urge anyone who may have information about either of these incidents to come forward.
"We would also like to hear from anyone with CCTV or dash cam footage that may assist these investigations.”
Information can be provided by calling 105 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police have been given temporary orders to carry firearms in the Eastern District and members of the public can expect a heightened police presence as inquires continue.