A Levin pub worker says an argument between two women precipitated a man pulling a sawn-off shotgun from his bag and pointing it at other people.
He blamed escalating gang tensions in the town for the Friday evening incident in O’Malley’s Bar and Grill.
Video footage viewed by Stuff shows a man throwing a drink while backing away from two other males in the bar’s TAB area.
A woman gets between the lone man and the duo, before another male emerges pointing a firearm at the group.
* Two arrested after allegedly pointing gun in Glenfield road rage incident
* Man jailed for carrying loaded shotgun, possessing meth for supply
* Guns and drugs found in several incidents in Wairarapa
Other people join the melee despite the firearm.
The gunman eventually backs away while pointing the firearm.
A pub worker, who Stuff has agreed not to name due to safety concerns, said two men and two women entered the bar just before closing time.
One of the women then went up to another in the bar and had a go at her for allegedly looking at “their man”, the worker said.
That led to abuse before the gun, a sawn-off shotgun, came out.
“We don’t know what the next move is. Is he going to pull the trigger?”
Despite the scene, the worker said it was not scary.
“No point being scared, because what’s going to happen is going to happen.
“You can’t really calm the situation when there is a gun there.”
The situation had to be gang-related, with tensions in Levin between gangs rising in recent times and people more commonly carrying firearms, he said.
A national operation targeting gangs is having a “significant impact”, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says. (First published September 2021)
More gang members have moved to the area in the past few years, pushing in on territory traditionally controlled by the Nomads.
Gang members told Stuff that patched Nomad gangster Palmiro MacDonald, who went missing in March 2016 and whose skeletal remains were found near the Mangahao Dam six months later, was a casualty of other gangs pushing into Horowhenua.
There were also a series of gang-related shootings in Levin in 2020, while a shot man walked into the town’s ambulance station in 2021 in suspicious circumstances.
A police spokesperson said they were called to the bar at 11.15pm after reports of an altercation between two parties.
No one was hurt and no shots were fired.
A 32-year-old man has been arrested and charged with unlawfully possessing a knife in a public place and unlawfully possessing ammunition. He will appear in court on Wednesday.
Police are still looking for a second offender.