Police has officially released the name of the man who was shot dead by police on Monday night, as 43-year-old Hitesh Navin Lal, a resident of South Auckland.
Police were called to a street in Papatoetoe on Monday morning 1 a.m. after reports of public disturbance in the area.
Hitesh, as identified by police, went on rampage with his machete damaging cars and powerlines.
He also used the machete to attack a number of houses by smashing in windows. Immediately prior to Police arrival, the man was at one address where he had smashed two large windows and was in the process of smashing the Venetian Blinds.
The occupants were home at the time and were terrified thinking that the man was going to gain access to the house and attack them. The man was unknown to any of the occupants at the address.
The first Police Officer arrived at this time and was able to prevent the man from gaining entry to this address.
"The man turned his attention on the Police Officer and despite repeated requests from our officer to put down his weapon, he has continued to advance on the officer and has been shot," a police spokesperson said.
Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this difficult time. Victim Support and Police are providing them with support.
Mr Lal’s family have asked that media respect their privacy at this time and allow them to grieve privately. Our investigation into the incident remains ongoing and we are continuing to speak with a number of witnesses.
We have no significant update to provide at this time. The officer involved is being well-supported by his colleagues and his welfare is a priority for Police.
An old photo of Hitesh Navin Lal (right) with his cousin Rajiv Raja (Image: Faceboook)
Hitesh is said to have had a family dispute over a property in Ba, Fiji with his half-brother living there. His cousin Rajiv Raja told the Indian Weekender that he was often upset about the disputed property in Fiji and would get upset every time the subject came into the conversation.
Last evening, around 6:30 p.m., he called me home for a drink to which I refused saying its lockdown, and we should be staying in our respective bubbles," Mr Raja said.
“What I know from what happened after that phone call is that Hitesh started drinking in his house and had a heated argument with his half-brother again who is lives in Fiji."
“A little later, Hitesh got agitated and started smashing things inside the house. In a fit of rage, he picked a machete as well to which his partner living with him asked him to leave the house.
“Once outside the house, he started smashing the machete on to parked cars, windows and tried cutting the powerlines as well,” cousin Rajiv Raja added.
Hitesh is survived by his wife and a daughter, who does not live with him. His mother died a long time back, and his father lives in Fiji.
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