Man jailed for police shooting

  • 30/10/2015

A career criminal who shot an officer in the foot after leading police on a manhunt around the North Island has been sentenced to 11 years and four months in jail.

Zeb Lee Sonny McCallion, 37, was on the run between May and August last year before finally being arrested in the Mill Street Pak N Save carpark following a violent struggle.

During his attempt to escape authorities McCallion was tackled by Constable John Spalding as he tried to hijack a car, resulting in his shotgun discharging and injuring both men.

Last month McCallion pleaded guilty to 17 charges including resisting arrest with a firearm, participating in an organised criminal group, possession of an explosive, using a firearm against a law enforcement officer and aggravated robbery.

In passing sentence Judge Anne Hinton noted that in McCallion's pre-sentence report that he was at high risk of re-offending and a high risk to others.

She also pointed out that he had a long history of placing the blame on everyone except himself and needed to start taking responsibility for his own actions.

The Rangiriri man told his probation officer he believed his life was under threat from his former associates, causing him to take drastic action by arming himself and evading police.

This resulted in McCallion threatening Sergeant Christopher Greenwood with a sawn-off shotgun as he attempted to arrest him in Kihikihi before he was finally captured in Hamilton.

Justice Hinton reflected in her summary that Sergeant Greenwood had chosen to quit the force as a result of the incident.

The presence and use of a firearm would have been utterly frightening for all the victims, she said.

McCallion will have to serve a minimum of one third of his sentence before being considered for parole.