The Australian tourist who was shot dead while he slept in a campervan in New Zealand has been identified.
Sean McKinnon, from Warnambool in Victoria, was travelling with his Canadian fiancee when the pair were attacked in the early hours of Friday morning at the Te Toto Gorge carpark in Raglan.
The 33-year-old was shot while his 32-year-old fiancee managed to flee and ran for several kilometres to seek help.
The woman, who is living and working in New Zealand, alerted police to the attack at 3.20am, and said she and Mr McKinnon were woken by a stranger banging on the window and demanding the keys to the campervan.
A gunman who broke into a campervan and shot dead an Australian tourist while he slept next to his Canadian girlfriend at a remote New Zealand lookout is on the run
He and his Canadian girlfriend were asleep in the van in Raglan, New Zealand , when an unknown person attempted to break in about 3.20am on Friday
Mr McKinnon was shot multiple times during what Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley concluded was likely a random attack.
The gunman stole the van with his body still inside, and dumped it some 80kms away from where police believe the initial shooting took place.
A large-scale manhunt is underway as police desperately try to track down the gunman, who is believed to still be armed.
Mr McKinnon’s body was found about 3.20am on Friday, on Gordonton Road on the outskirts of Hamilton, New Zealand.
Officers responded to a ‘serious incident’ in nearby Raglan shortly before the grim discovery.
After officers searched the van, they moved on toward the Karioi Summit Track entrance, at Te Toto Gorge, where they believe the incident first took place. Police cars blocked the entrance to the car park when they arrived and covered an area of gravel with tarpaulin
The Australian man was shot multiple times during the attack and remained in the van after the gunman stole it
Raglan is known as a popular tourist destination famous for its black sand beaches and is frequented by campers travelling through the region on their way to or from Auckland, which is just under two hours away.
A couple who were sleeping in a nearby caravan were woken up and spoken to by police at 4.30am regarding the incident.
Police and the Armed Offenders Squad told them they were on the hunt for a shooter who they believe may have killed the unidentified man.
‘We got told to put our hands up, come outside. [Police] pretty much told us what had happened,’ Kyle John-Roebuck Allan told Stuff.
‘Obviously the suspect they were looking for had taken an Apollo wagon… They took us outside, made sure the suspect wasn’t inside our vehicle,’ he said.
Officers responded to a ‘serious incident’ in nearby Raglan shortly before the grim discovery, and are still searching for the gunman
After officers searched the van, they moved on toward the Karioi Summit Track entrance, at Te Toto Gorge, where they believe the shooting took place.
Police cars blocked the entrance to the car park when they arrived and covered an area of gravel with tarpaulin.
They are now appealing with the public to come forward with information.
Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen a White 2017 Toyota Hiace ZL registration KWF362 overnight.
During a conference held on Friday afternoon, Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley told reporters he believed the gunman may have confided in someone after the crime.
‘Someone in the community knows who the offender is and I’m pleading with them to come forward,’ he said.
‘It is likely the offender confided in members of the community.’
A post mortem will be conducted on Friday afternoon.
Anyone who saw the campervan is urged to contact the Hamilton Police on 07 858 6200 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Police cars blocked the entrance to the car park when they arrived and covered an area of gravel with tarpaulin, witnesses claimed