Tripti Joshi (Editor)

2009 Napier shootings

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Location  Napier, New Zealand
Non-fatal injuries  3
Name  2009 shootings

2009 Napier shootings
Date  7–9 May 2009 9.30 a.m. - 12.00 p.m. (UTC+12)
Attack type  Shooting, murder, homicide
Weapons  Large array of explosives and firearms (Includes: sawn off Remington 870, L1A1 SLR, Remington 742, etc.)
Deaths  2 (including the perpetrator)

The 2009 Napier shootings (also widely called the Napier siege by the New Zealand media) occurred on 7 May 2009 in Napier, New Zealand. At around 9.30 am, Jan Molenaar fired on New Zealand Police officers executing a routine cannabis search warrant at his house at 41 Chaucer Road, killing Senior Constable Len Snee and seriously injuring Senior Constables Bruce Miller and Grant Diver. A neighbour attempting to assist the police was also shot. Over one hundred police, including Armed Offenders Squad and Special Tactics Group members, were brought in to cordon and contain the gunman, who was identified as a former territorial soldier. A siege lasting over forty hours developed, during which police officers made repeated attempts under fire to retrieve the body of the slain officer. With the assistance of two New Zealand Army NZLAVs, they were successful at about 5 pm on 8 May. At around midday on 9 May police found the gunman dead inside the master bedroom of the house.


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Jan Molenaar

2009 Napier shootings Napier gunmans house was a stronghold Stuffconz

Jan Molenaar, 51, was born of Ngāti Kahungunu extraction and grew up in Napier, where he went to Nelson Park Primary School, Napier Intermediate School and William Colenso College. In the 1980s he spent six years in the territorial armoured corps of the Hawke's Bay and Wellington Regiment. Molenaar is said to have been a loner, and to have missed his brother, who had killed himself having experimented with the drug methamphetamine.


2009 Napier shootings Napier siege over as police confirm gunman dead YouTube

Senior Constables Snee, Miller and Diver attended an address in Napier during a routine cannabis investigation. An occupant of the house fired shots at the policemen, killing Snee and wounding Miller and Diver. A neighbour was also shot when he tried to intervene. Diver sheltered behind a neighbouring house where he was able to phone for back up. Armed Offenders members responded quickly; with the aid of two members of the public they pulled Miller to safety; armed officers also retrieved the injured civilian, Leonard Holmwood. The officers were commended for their bravery at rescuing their comrades by Prime Minister John Key. Key also praised the police for their actions over the course of the Napier siege. Sacred Heart school, Nelson Park School, Napier Central School, Napier Intermediate and Napier Girls' High School were all on lockdown for Thursday, and Nelson Park School, Napier Central School and Napier Intermediate were shut on Friday.

Thursday 7 May

2009 Napier shootings Napier gunmans house was a stronghold Stuffconz
  • 9.30am: Senior Constables Len Snee, Bruce Miller and Grant Diver arrive at the home of Jan Molenaar, to serve a cannabis search warrant. Snee is shot dead, and the two other officers and a civilian are shot and wounded.
  • 9.40am: Police cordon off the surrounding area and evacuate local residents.
  • 10.00am: The injured officers Bruce Miller and Grant Diver are taken to hospital. Police fail to recover Snee's body after being shot at by the gunman.
  • 11.03am: Police announced that "Police can confirm that three police officers have been involved in a shooting incident in Napier this morning. Two police officers have been injured and are in hospital. A third officer is unaccounted for at this stage."
  • 12.25pm: More shots are fired, police talk to Molenaar through a loud hailer after which more shots are fired.
  • 7.15pm: A Police website media release announced "Police have been unable at this point to extricate Senior Constable Snee."
  • 8.05pm: The Special Tactics Group arrives aboard a Unimog.
  • Friday 8 May

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  • 4.35pm: Two of the army's light armoured vehicles, followed by a police car with officers and a police dog inside, enter the cordoned area.
  • 5.00pm: The body of Leonard Snee was retrieved by Police.
  • Saturday 9 May

    2009 Napier shootings 2009 Napier shootings YouTube
  • 3:30am: A volley of shots and a large explosion are heard. Police did not confirm where the shots came from. It was speculated that police detonated an explosive device against the house's garage door.
  • 12:00pm: Police discover the body of shooter Jan Molenaar in the first floor master bedroom.
  • Len Snee

    Leonard "Len" Snee (11 March 1956 – 7 May 2009) is the 29th member of the New Zealand Police killed in the line of duty. A long serving officer who was well known to the local community, Snee was a member of the Armed Offenders Squad and worked on drugs cases. In 1996, he was involved in the manhunt for Constable Glenn McKibbin's murderer, Terence Thompson, in Flaxmere. As with Molenaar, he was of Ngāti Kahungunu extraction.


    Molenaar continues to have admirers in Napier, particularly those impressed by his anti-gang stance; his tangi at Ruahapia marae and funeral were well attended. Snee's tangi was at Takapau marae and his funeral in Napier's Municipal Theatre.

    Molenaar's partner Delwyn Ismalia Keefe, a convicted drug dealer, has received $10,000 of ACC compensation because Molenaar committed suicide. A restraining order has been issued against the house the two lived in and more than $90,000 in cash and bank accounts so the assets can be forfeited to the Crown once she is sentenced on the drug charges. She disputes accounts by others of the siege, saying Lenny Holmwood, who attempted to wrestle the gun from Molenaar, and is believed by police to have saved the lives of their two wounded officers, did not do so.

    Holmwood has been recognised by The New Zealand Herald as its 2009 New Zealander of the Year for his heroism in saving Miller and Diver. In 2011, Holmwood, two other civilians, 10 police officers and a paramedic received bravery medals for their actions during the shootings.


    2009 Napier shootings Wikipedia

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