Downtown Taradale is not known as a clubs hotspot, or a place where gunfights occur on the main street, and locals are still digesting what occurred there on an otherwise quiet Sunday afternoon.
Many locals Stuff spoke to on Monday morning did not want to say anything for fear of repercussions. Those who did described a hectic scene like something from a gangland movie.
The fight, involving dozens of members of rival clubs Black Power and The Mongrel Mob, broke out on Gloucester Street at about 1pm on Sunday.
It’s understood to have kicked off at Shani’s Family Eatery and Bar near McDonald’s, leaving shops no choice but to close.
The restaurant has declined to comment on the incident.
During the fight, a Mongrel Mob member is understood to have fired shots, with a Black Power member receiving a facial injury.
Five shots were fired and two people were injured.
A man in his 20s was transported to Hawke’s Bay Hospital and is in a stable condition.
A Hawke’s Bay DHB spokeswoman said extra security measures had been put in place since his arrival and will remain until he is discharged.
A young woman said it was normal for Black Power members to frequent the Taradale streets, but they often kept to themselves.
“Black Power are often seen around Taradale and Mongrel Mob tend to stay more over in Maraenui,” she said.
“I heard the gunshots. There were police everywhere, the roads were blocked off. I felt unsafe,” a shop keeper said.
“We usually close about 2pm on a Sunday anyway, but we made the call to close earlier given what was going on.
“We put a note on the door to let people know we had closed, but some people didn’t even know anything had happened.
“It was just quite unsettling.”
A cafe operator near where the shooting happened said they went into “lock down”.
“We felt panic, it was all pretty terrifying. We just had to lock down like everyone else.”
Another cafe staff member said a member of the public rushed in and “slammed the door” after the gunshots occurred.
“They said, ‘There’s someone with a gun outside’.”
Another shopkeeper and Taradale resident said it was lucky the incident had happened on a Sunday and not a working day.
“It probably would have been a different story on a Friday with school kids around.”
One woman, a resident of thirty-years, labelled the incident as “disgusting”.
“I think there should be a march in protest against this. It’s simply not on,” she said.
A policeman walking on Gloucester Street told Stuff he had been talking to residents and shopkeepers since the incident to hear any concerns in order to make sure the community felt safe.
A young mother of two said the club problem was becoming “more frequent” and also labelled the incident as “unsettling”.
“It’s happening more and more, look what happened in Anderson Park last year,” she said.
Another resident said clubs activity in Napier was a “re-occurring problem”.
“It is a bit of a concern – the gang issue – I just heard [the Mongrel Mob] were having lunch at Shani’s restaurant, but this is a Black Power area. It’s quite worrying really.”
Police Minister Stuart Nash said clubs numbers began rising in 2011 when the Australian motorcycle club the Rebels arrived in New Zealand.
A year later, police numbers fell by 150.
Nash said organised crime and gangs were “a priority for the Gang Focus Unit” and police numbers were being boosted by 27 per cent in Eastern District.
Make Sure You are Subscribed to our Facebook page!