TODAY |

Whitikahu locals describe moment man is arrested for alleged murder of Australian tourist

Two locals in Whitikahu, Hamilton, have described the "freaky" moment a man was arrested after an Australian tourist was killed in a campervan in Raglan yesterday.

"We heard lots of dogs barking and we thought, 'There's no other dogs but my brother's big dogs and they weren't barking and it just sounded like lots of dogs," Merita Proffitt told 1 NEWS.

Ms Proffitt said they could hear "lots of cars coming and then they stopped, sort of just around the corner."

"My husband said, 'That's it, we’re out of here', and I ran and woke up my brother and sort of said, 'Don't know what's going on, come have a look.'"

Neighbour Steve Davies said they went outside, where they saw police and the Armed Offenders Squad.

"Yeah, just went out and got the kids out of their bedrooms and walked back inside. Not sure what was going on," Mr Davies recalled.
Ms Proffitt said as one of the police cars left, "you could tell there was someone in the backseat."

She called the moment "real scary."

"You think things like that happen somewhere else – they never happen on your front door," she said.

Mr Davies said he had told his children not to worry after seeing the large police presence outside their school.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Sean McKinnon's grief-stricken family finding solace in support from the public as they mourn a brother and son. Source: 1 NEWS

"I told my kids, 'Oh, you don't need to worry because we're so far out of town and they'll never come this far.'

"Next thing, at 11pm, when you see all these armed police turn up – it's a pretty scary thought to have right at your back doorstep."

Ms Proffitt said her children "were really nervous about going to sleep and 'what if he's not caught 'cause again, we didn't know."

"Looked at the news this morning and there was still nothing on and we were like, 'Oh, did they catch him? We're not sure.'"

Mr Davies said: "You hear it on the news, but you never really see it or think it's going to happen to you, so it's pretty freaky."

He called the incident "very heartbreaking, especially for our tourists and stuff like that."

"We're a beautiful country and it's not what we're known for, so it's definitely a gut wrencher for us."

Your playlist will load after this ad

Steve Davies and Merita Proffitt spoke to 1 NEWS about last night’s incident. Source: 1 NEWS