Details released by the police yesterday make it clear that the Weekend Herald's front-page report on Saturday was right.The self-congratulatory tone is bad enough. But it seems reasonably clear that the reason other media outlets questioned the Herald's claim ("GUNMAN DEAD" in giant letters on the front page) was that the police hadn't told any media outlets that he was dead, because they weren't sure. In other words, the Herald smelled a scoop and guessed. This time it paid off - the equivalent of putting everything on red, winning and then boasting about what a great roulette player you are.
Despite widespread claims in other media on Saturday morning that we were wrong and Molenaar was still alive, it is clear that he died on Friday afternoon.
His last communications with his partner and brother were just after 1pm, and a single gunshot was heard at 1.28pm.
From that time there was no further sign of life from the house through phone contact or shooting. As the Herald correctly reported, Police believed him to be dead.
2) On page A2, the "Napier Siege" page (four days after Molenaar died), John Key declares that all frontline police will get tasers in the upcoming Budget. At the same time, Key says that he does not support the arming of police. But arming them with tasers is ok? I don't really see it as a huge distinction - but this blog isn't about what I think. More to the point:
Police Association president Greg O'Connor told Radio NZ he hoped the Napier shootings would show those opposed to Taser use that police did need more tools at their disposal.Meanwhile, at police headquarters:
He [Key] said Police Commissioner Howard Broad had told him there was nothing to show being armed would have prevented other police deaths.Frankly, I don't see anything that would have stopped Len Snee getting killed in this situation other than:
- not carrying out class C drug busts
- shelling the house before driving a LAV through the front door
As for Key:
"I think there is genuine concern about the widespread retainment [ugh...] of arms on an unregistered basis by New Zealanders, but whether it is possible to control that situation is difficult," said Mr Key.Too difficult, huh? Oh well, we'll just give police tasers then.