A resident of Whanganui who lives near the property where a man was shot yesterday, says he is afraid of a full-blown turf warfare.
Tensions between gangs have been simmering for months with younger Mongrel Mob members trying to enter the area of the traditional rival gang Black Power, he says.
But both acting mayor Jenny Duncan and police inspector Ross McKay say that the public is not at risk and that the police have sufficient staff to handle any escalation.
Kevin Ratana, 27, was shot dead on Puriri St yesterday morning.
A man who lives close by and does not want to be mentioned said that there was a tension that led to the shooting and it probably got worse.
& # 39; It's been going on like this the last month, I think, it's going to be serious, these gangs are just getting bad now, & # 39; he said.
"The [Mongrel] Crowd tries to take over this turf, but it has been Black Power grass since the first day. Castlecliff has always been Black Power.
"You have these gangsters [Mongrel Mob] they come in … they're just trying to take over this grass. This one [the shooting] is the result. It would be the same if Black Power went to Wanganui East or something like that, trying to invade that turf. & # 39;
The man said that Ratana had stayed in a house in Castlecliff and was deliberately trying to provoke Black Power members.
& # 39; That guy who was shot here, he stayed down here. He walked around the hood anyway.
"He did not really undercover, he was proud and loud and" sieg heil & # 39; this and that and the streets expire where members of the Black Power members held in place and left his gun and all that. and a few other boys, a few of them from the city.
He tried to start something, he tried to bring in other members, another from townies to try to take over Castlecliff. [He] thought he would come somewhere … use the less [Black Power] patched members around. "
The resident was concerned that Mongrel Mob members would now take revenge and that innocent bystanders would end up in the crossfire.
He said it was up to the police to ensure that this did not happen.
"There's not a lot of Black Power left here, many of them are locked up for that last shootout, I do not know how they'll end up here, but I'm sure the [Mongrel] Mob will take revenge. There may be innocent bystanders who are shot.
"She [the police] the Mob could stop coming in. They stop on the highway or something. The police know that there will be a retribution. They are the law, so that they can just set their foot and end.
"Like the crowd [are] I'm going to come out here and cause problems, the police must be here and stop it right away. "
Another resident in the area said that he and his wife were at home when the shooting happened.
"Two shots … twice, I told my wife" did you hear that? "My wife said," yes it sounded like guns.
"My wife was scared … I closed the door and we were in the house, we saw police car everywhere. [to my wife] Do not be scared, I am here & # 39 ;. "
A woman close to the family of Kevin Ratana said that many family members had gone to Palmerston where the young man's body would be polled.
She said that Ratana was a good man.
"A man does not define a patch, there are many reasons why men in gangs search for brotherhoods, not all of them are bad or bad.
"Some good spirits and hearts are in gangs, some break loose and create change, some create change inside, some use them to hide behind, as in every life course, and to engage in gruesome deeds."
She said that attempts were being made to settle the tensions between the two gangs, but solutions were not unambiguous.
"There is a movement in the direction of differences in work around the table, but … there is a number that is fed by ignorance, hatred and a lack of insight that still act as criminals." Of course, alcohol and meth are often a driving force. "
The police have repeated to the public that they know that the conflict is between two parties who know each other and that they do not believe that there is a risk to the general public.
"We want the Whanganui community to feel comfortable that there is a strong police presence in the area that is working hard to investigate this crime," McKay said.
"Extra officers have been brought in from Manawatu and Taranaki to help and for that reason people will notice an increased presence of the police in the city, but people should not be alarmed, but reassured.
"Our employees are adequately trained and equipped to solve any situation that may arise."
Whanganui's deputy mayor Jenny Duncan said it was normal for Castlecliff and the wider Whanganui area.
"Everything is quiet and in hand, we have complete confidence in what is happening."
The police commander kept everyone informed, she said.
"It is a one-off event, it is not random, we expect it to be fairly isolated.
"We are a quiet community, the event was unexpected and the police will continue to carry out the investigation."