Man charged over NZ shooting that left two dead
A MAN accused of shooting and killing two Work and Income staff members and seriously injuring a third will appear in Christchurch District Court today.
Russell John Tully is facing two charges of murder and one of attempted murder after a triple shooting in the Ashburton Work and Income office on Monday morning.
Police said a major investigation was ongoing in to the events.
Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald said police had formed a picture of what occurred yesterday and were appealing for further information and sightings.
Police particularly want to hear urgently from anyone who was in the Ashburton area yesterday between 8am and 5pm and saw someone fitting Tully's description.
Police described him as wearing dark coloured clothing, a rolled up balaclava, dark backpack and riding/pushing a dark mountain bike.
A person fitting that description was seen around the Ashburton New World supermarket and Police ask for anyone with similar sightings to come forward.
Police have also appealed for two runners who were believed to have come into contact with Tully on the Ashburton River Track on Monday morning to get in touch urgently.
EARLIER: Homeless man accused of shooting dead two NZ welfare workers
A HOMELESS man in New Zealand who allegedly shot dead two welfare staff members, critically injuring a third, has been detained after a seven-hour manhunt.
Only 12 days ago Russell Tully, 48, who was living in a tent near Ashburton, on the south-eastern New Zealand coast, gave an interview to a local newspaper discussing his benefits and struggle to find somewhere to live.
A man, alleged to be Tully, wearing a black balaclava and carrying a shotgun entered the Work and Income office in Ashburton, where shots were then heard at about 10am on Monday.
Suspect Tully was found on a rural property near Lake Hood at 5pm. No charges have yet been laid against him, said Canterbury district commander superintendent Gary Knowles.
Tully was found with minor dog bites and police are continuing to search for the missing weapon.
A crime scene is set up at Ashburton Work and Income Centre after two people were shot dead A crime scene is set up at Ashburton Work and Income Centre after two people were shot dead Superintendent Knowles said:
Nothing will give the families who lost loved ones closure but I think a community can go to sleep tonight with the thought that the person we believe may be responsible is in custody.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, one witness reported seeing a worker from the Cass Street office run after the shooter, yelling: "You b*****d, you've blown her to bits."
The witness, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: "It was just surreal. I stopped and got out of the van because I thought 'that's not right' then I heard two shots and I legged it straight to the office."
Tully, who suffers from a skin condition affecting his joints, had been unable to get work since moving back to New Zealand from Australia where he worked as a miner.
In the interview he said: "I want somewhere to live. I can't see why I can't move in here when no one is living here".