Napier shooting: Gunman's house safe, residents return home
Residents from all but 11 houses surrounding the site of a three-day siege in Napier can return after explosives experts declared the home of gunman Jan Molenaar safe, police said.
This morning, teams of specialists finished picking their way through the house on Chaucer Rd, disarming and dismantling explosive devices.
"The house is a major crime scene and will now be handed over to CIB for a detailed forensic examination to begin," a police spokesman said.
"This examination will form part of the various investigations underway into the events which began on Thursday 7th May."
Molenaar, who had kept police at bay in a 50-hour siege, was found dead by police who entered the dwelling late yesterday morning.
One police officer was fatally shot, two were injured and a neighbour was also injured when police officers visited the house on what was thought to be a routine cannabis inquiry.
Senior Constable Len Snee died in Molenaar's garden and the other two officers were critically injured.
Senior Constable Bruce Millar remained in a critical condition today, and Senior Constable Grant Diver was stable.
A fourth man, civilian Leonard Holmwood, was also critically hurt when he bravely tackled Molenaar - his neighbour on Chaucer Rd - and tried unsuccessfully to wrestle the firearm away from him after the police were gunned down.
Mr Holmwood's condition remained critical.
Police had lifted much of the cordon around the Chaucer Rd area, allowing most residents to return to their homes, but part of the road near the house would remain blocked off.
Residents whose homes were still off limits but had special requirements were asked to contact police.
Over 100 residents had to be accommodated in Napier hotels and motels for their safety, and a number of others were trapped in nearby houses as police negotiated with the gunman.
Molenaar had shot at neighbouring properties with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle, and was known to have plenty of ammunition and firearms of more than one calibre.
Police were to maintain roadblocks at the top, and near the bottom of Chaucer Rd.
A cemetery bordering Chaucer Rd remained off limits, reported NZPA.