CCTV footage shows Gang warfare in lobby of 5-star Auckland hotel

CCTV footage shows Gang warfare in lobby of 5-star Auckland hotel

Jurors in the high court of Auckland have been shown footage of a gang shootout in the lobby of a Sofitel hotel.

The shooting, which took place between New Zealand motorcycle gangs the Head Hunters and the Mongols in 2021, has seen five Head Hunter members stand trial for discharging a weapon with intent of causing bodily harm.

Nobody was injured from the shooting and video footage showed a Mongols member and Sofitel staff jumping to cover in the wake of the shot. The shooting summoned a large police response.

Hone Reihana, a Head Hunters gang member, pled guilty to the charge. However, members of the prosecution have argued that the remaining five co-defendants – Marcus Nielson, Fred Tanuvasa, Tyran Panapa, Paraire Paikea and a man who has had his name suppressed – are as guilty of contributing to the circumstances that led to the shooting.

Footage played for the jury showed Reihana getting in a black ute with some of his co-defendants after the shooting. Lawyers defending the Head Hunters members argued that while Reihana’s co-defendants were in the vicinity of the scene, it does not mean that they were aware that he was going to shoot.

Sofitel employee Nikunj Mahida, who was testifying via audiovisual feed, said that he was the employee seen on camera ducking for cover after the shots were fired. He ran behind a painting in the reception area to the hotel’s back office, he said.

“As soon as I went in the back office I called 111,” he said.

The trial continues before Justice Simon Moore.

Featured Image: Instagram/sofitelaucklandviaductharbour

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