Tourism

23-year-old charged with shooting Aussie tourist in New Zealand

A man has been charged with the murder of an Australian tourist who was shot dead in New Zealand on Friday.

Sean McKinnon, 33, was shot multiple times as he slept next to his Canadian fiancée in a rented campervan parked in Raglan, a surfing town in Waikato, by a man who allegedly demanded the keys to the vehicle.

McKinnon’s fiancée, Bianca Buckley managed to flee the scene and seek help at a nearby house.

Police in New Zealand allege the man drove the stolen vehicle away as McKinnon lay dying in the back, before abandoning it in Gordonton, 80 kilometres away.

A 23-year old man was arrested and charged with McKinnon’s murder following a police raid at a property on the outskirts of Hamilton on Friday night, ABC News reported.

The man, whose identity has been suppressed, appeared in Hamilton district court on Saturday, charged with murder, aggravated robbery, threatening to kill and driving disqualified. He will remain in custody until he faces another hearing in New Zealand’s high court on 27 August.

Police have yet to find the gun used in the attack and are appealing to the public for information, asking drivers if they had seen hitchhikers in the area where the campervan was found during the daylight hours of Friday.

“Particularly, if any motorists that travelled this route on Friday have dashcam footage, police would like to hear from you,” Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said, according to the ABC.

McKinnon’s sister Emmeline told reporters outside the court on Saturday the family is supporting Buckley, who she described as amazingly resilient and strong.

“I can’t begin to understand what she’s been through,” she said.

Buckley ran six kilometres in bare feet, hiding in bushes along the way when she heard creaks and thought her fiancé’s murderer was coming after her, a man who preferred not to be named told ABC News.

It was the unnamed man who took Buckley in during the early hours of Friday morning as she ran down the street calling for help.

“I popped my head out the window and asked her what was going on,” he told the ABC.

“Obviously it was that her partner’s been shot, the van’s been stolen, stuck in the middle of nowhere, ‘Can you help me?’

“In the light of the situation — yeah of such a heinous act, she was brave, man, real brave.”

The shooting occurred just one month after Australian man Lucas Fowler and his Canadian girlfriend Chynna Deese were shot on the side of the road in northern British Colombia.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Aviation

ACCC gives Virgin Australia’s cooperation plans with Virgin Atlantic a boost

This news couldn’t have come at a better time for Virgin Australia, given its current financial predicament.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Beyond Travel’s Sri Lanka commission deal, Magellan award winners revealed + MORE!

This week’s agent wrap is somewhat of a whopper, a “Big Bertha”, a “Goliath”. Meaning there’s lots of news.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Nearly half of all new cruise builds to rely on LNG fuel: CLIA

The cruise industry is making “unprecedented” progress in going green, according to CLIA. Find out exactly how it’s making cruising more sustainable here.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Young man snagged at Indian airport after impersonating 81-year-old to enter US

In all honesty, Travel Weekly thinks this man’s disguise was pretty convincing.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

A&K reveals its 2020 ‘hot list’

Abercrombie & Kent has announced its ‘hot list’ for 2020. However, that’s not to suggest it’s made up of attractive people in the travel industry.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Maori groups threaten to boycott Air New Zealand over ‘kia ora’ trademark

The airline is seeking to trademark the masthead of its inflight magazine, Kia Ora, just in time for Maori language week.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aussie travel bloggers detained in Iran over alleged drone activity

The pair were documenting an overland voyage from Australia to London when they were arrested for allegedly launching a drone near a military area.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Pilot’s coffee spillage causes plane carrying hundreds to divert

by Christian Fleetwood

According to the incident report, the pilot was using a single-use cup. Shame, shame, shame!

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Flight Centre drives away with Uber

Look, we were going to go with the headline “Flight Centre shifts up a gear with Uber”, but thought it was too lame.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: LATAM’s new CEO, RCL gets new agency, Uber Air appoints boss + MORE!

There has been an awful lot of movement in the travel industry recently, so we’ve prepared a mammoth wrap-up of all the latest appointments to give you some to toast to down at the pub later today.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Tourism Australia names new boss

Tourism Australia has appointed its new managing director, who also happens to be the organisation’s first-ever female head.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“It’s a complete abrogation of responsibility”: Flight Centre urged to stop selling elephant riding

by Christian Fleetwood

Flight Centre has ruffled a few feathers over its stance on elephant riding. Get the lowdown here.

Share

CommentComments