'Mistaken identity' killing: police seek second vehicle

By Te Ao - Māori News

Police are seeking the public’s help to identify a new piece of information in relation to the death of David Kuka, who was murdered at his Tauranga home in February 2018.

Kuka, 52, was home alone at the Wilrose Place address on February 11 last year.

He was located seriously injured at around 10:25pm and died at the scene shortly after emergency services arrived.

Sadly, Kuka was shot execution style in what police say was a "premediated and cowardly" attack.

Police want to speak with anyone who has information about a second vehicle of interest in the investigation.

The vehicle in question is a silver Ford Falcon with a distinctive red bonnet.

Police would like anyone with information on the above vehicle to contact them (Source: NZ Police)

The vehicle was last seen in the late afternoon and evening around Tauranga on February 11 2018, the night Kuka was killed.

Early indications to police were that his murder was a case of mistaken identity.

"We believe his murder is most likely connected to the death of Mongrel Mob Notorious life member Lance Waite who was shot at the same location five weeks prior to Mr Kuka’s death and later died from his injuries," says Detective Sergeant Paul Barron of Tauranga CIB, "Police are aware that Mr Kuka was previously gang affiliated but that was many years ago."

At the time of his death Kuka was a devout Christian and mainly kept to himself, according to police.

He was a family man and looked out for his whanāu and friends.

Kuka was a devout Christian and family man according to Police (Source: NZ Police).

He was also a talented carver and craftsman and examples of his work are displayed in Tauranga.

Police had previously sought information about a silver sedan that was seen in the Greerton area and seen coming and going from Welcome Bay on February 11.

"It’s vital anyone with information about the two vehicles we’re interested in or anyone who knows about Mr Kuka’s death contacts us," says Barron, "We believe that the community can help us get answers for Mr Kuka’s family.

"Someone will know something and can help us bring his family some sense of closure in solving this crime."

The public can view the Police Ten 7 appeal for information on the Police Ten 7 Facebook page and the Bay of Plenty Police Facebook page. 

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Paul Barron on (07) 577 4384 or call the Police Ten 7 Information line on 0800 107 4636.