November 24, 2021. Armed police on the streets of Ōtara after five shootings in two days.Video / Brett Phoebes
A Killer Beez gang member pleaded guilty today to taking part in a day-long gang war terrorizing the south Auckland suburb of Ōtara.
Authorities have previously said the November 2020 shooting involving Paul Cassidy and others targeted members of the rival Tribesmen gang, but that the damaged home included neighbors who were inside at the time and unrelated to the gang wars. No one was injured.
Cassidy appeared in Auckland Superior Court today before Judge Neil Campbell, where he pleaded guilty to three counts of vandalism, shooting at a house on three different roads, and one count of aggravated theft of a house in the area and one charge. Participate in organized crime groups.
He could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison for burglary and up to 10 years for each of the other charges.
The guilty plea comes a month after co-defendant Michael Crawford was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison for planning the shooting, which prosecutors say came after members of another gang stole his motorcycle and his patch prompt.
Police said more than two dozen people, believed to be involved in the shooting, arrived from as far away as Picton after organizing a party via a Facebook Messenger group.
In Crawford’s judgment, Judge Grant Powell said the shooting appeared to have used a high-powered semi-automatic firearm, describing the group as believing “they have the right to storm the community of Ōtara and shoot wildly and recklessly as if they had this same place”. He called the 2020 shooting a precursor to a “reign of terror” that took place in Oakland earlier this year due to the rivalry between the two gangs.
Several co-defendants have pleaded not guilty and are still awaiting trial.
Before pleading guilty today, Cassidy had served eight years and eight months in prison. He will be sentenced on a new conviction in October.
Leave a Reply