'I was playing' - dad who shot two-year-old daughter

The gun that killed Amokura Daniels-Sanft "never worked", a distraught Gustav Sanft told police in evidence tapes played to Auckland's High Court on Thursday.

Sanft, who is on trial for manslaughter for the death of his two-year-old daughter in June 2016, told police he was playing with his daughter when the gun went off.

It's been agreed Sanft didn't mean to harm his daughter, but his defence is arguing he never aimed the gun at his daughter nor pulled the trigger.

On the fourth day of the trial, a police interview tape recorded on the day of Amokura's death was played to the court. In the tape Sanft is crying loudly, at times incomprehensible with grief.

"I had the gun. I was swinging it around," he told the officer in the tape.

"I tried to shoot it so many times. It never worked. It all happened so fast. I was playing with her," he said before crying loudly, calling out "My Amo. My Amo." He continued to call his daughter's name after the officer left the room.

Gustav Sanft.
Gustav Sanft. Photo credit: Newshub.

On the day of his daughter's death, police arrested Sanft for not having a firearms license. 

Two ambulance officers who were first on the scene of Amokura's killing told the court Sanft was "inconsolable" and "howling" when they tried to clean him up.

"I tried to clean him up, but he was just howling and eventually I said, 'Do you want a hug?' And he said, 'I don't deserve your sympathy,'" St John ambulance officer Shayna Bennison told the court.

Fellow ambulance officer Hayley Carter said when Sanft was offered a blanket, he "screamed… 'I don't want your sympathy. I'm a killer.'"

The court is scheduled to hear from a gun expert next week, who may be able to explain how the gun could have gone off.