"This is an absolutely tragic incident. From our enquiries to this point, we believe the victims were not known to the offender and this appears to be a random attack," New Zealand Police said

By Ian Horswill


Posted on August 16, 2019

An Australian tourist has been murdered after being shot in his campervan at a campsite in New Zealand.

The man has been identified as Sean McKinnon by The Age. His body was found 80km away from where he was shot after his terrified female partner, a 32-year-old woman from Halifax, Nova Scotia, ran for several kilometres for help in the early-morning attack by a gunman who wanted to steal their Apollo campervan at the Te Toto Gorge on Whaanga Road at Raglan, a coastal town on the west coast, 148km from Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island.

New Zealand Police have launched a murder investigation into McKinnon’s death. McKinnon was from Nirranda, in Victoria, The Age reported.

“At 3.20am, Police were notified of an incident earlier in the morning on Whaanga Road, Raglan where a male offender has smashed the window of a van,” New Zealand Police said on its Facebook page.

“Two occupants, a man and a woman, were inside the campervan at the time and the male offender has fired a number of shots into the vehicle, injuring the man.

“The female victim has managed to escape from the van and flee the scene.

“The offender has stolen the vehicle, a 2017 white Toyota Hiace ZL (registration KWF362) and has driven off with the injured man inside.

“The woman, who fortunately was not injured in the incident, reached a nearby address and notified Police.”

New Zealand murder Sean McKinnon

“At approximately 8am, the vehicle was located on Puke Road near the intersection of Gordonton Road, Gordonton.

The body of the male victim was located inside the vehicle.

The man is believed to be an Australian national and police are working with Australian authorities to ensure his next of kin are notified.

The dead man’s girlfriend is believed to be Canadian.

Armed police surrounded a car in a sports ground carpark in Hamilton, 46km drive away, and fired what a witness described as ‘gunshots’ about 12.30pm (local time) this afternoon. A resident who lives near the Gallagher Hockey Centre carpark said he heard what he thought were gunshots.

“The offender is still outstanding,” police have just confirmed.

“At this stage all I can say is we’re looking for a male.”

“This is an absolutely tragic incident. From our enquiries to this point, we believe the victims were not known to the offender and this appears to be a random attack,” NZ Police said.

“It is obviously concerning that we have an armed offender outstanding and we want to assure our Waikato community that our absolute priority is locating him as soon as possible and holding him to account.”