Toddler shooting trial: Police officer breaks down in court

An officer who was first on the scene at the shooting of a two-year-old in south Auckland has broken down, struggling to speak as she provided a witness account in Auckland's High Court on Wednesday.

Gustav Otto Sanft allegedly shot Amokura Daniels-Sanft in the head from close range at a south Auckland address in June last year. On Tuesday, the Crown said he was trying to "scare her" after she began playing up.

Senior Constable Jackie Fyfe struggled through her emotions retelling her version of the traumatic events, speaking of Sanft's constant wailing, of breaking down at the scene and of the lifeless two-year-old's blood-soaked body.

Snr Const Jackie Fyfe was driving to another job with two other officers when the radio alerted them to an emergency on Favona Rd.

A woman in hysterics waved them on to the property, where Const Fyfe described hearing a "howling noise".

"[I] was confronted by a man holding a small child. He was covered in blood and there was a large pool of blood on the ground. I ran up to him and I asked him to give me the child. He didn't respond to me. In fact, the entire time I was there he was just making a noise, like a howling noise," Const Fyfe told the court.

Struggling to speak, Const Fyfe said she tried to get Sanft to give her the child so she could find out whether the child was alive.

"He didn't respond…  She wasn't moving," Const Fyfe struggled to tell the court.

Const Fyfe said Const Kanai pulled her away from the immediate scene and they focused on the other children in the house - two young ones and a baby.

"I grabbed the baby, and I covered its face with my police jacket so she wouldn't see the blood," Const Fyfe said, and they went back for the other children. "We ran them out of there as fast as we could," she said.

The child's skull "appeared to have exploded out. Inside the skull was empty," Const Kanai told the court under questioning from the Crown. "I shot her," Const Kanai said he heard the defendant say, as he cried and wailed.

As the officers moved the children out of the house, Sanft continued to hold Amokura and wail.

"The howling noise was constant the whole time," Const Fyfe said.

As the fire service and paramedics arrived at the house, to the sight of a child covered in blood, showing no sign of life, Const Fyfe said she burst into tears. 

Const Fyfe cried in the dock as she recalled apologising to her colleague for breaking down. She was the senior constable and should have been setting an example, she said.

As Const Fyfe cried in court, Sanft breathed deeply, crying and whimpering as he listened to the witness account.

Const Fyfe said after closing the gate to the house, the officers noticed a woman running straight toward the driveway. The woman was tackled by Officer Seepa.

"I ran and held her in place. I knew it was Mum," Const Fyfe said.

They put the pregnant woman in the backseat of the car and sat with her, trying to comfort her as they called her sisters and father and asked them to come to the house.

Const Kanai said he sat in the police car with Sanft, who repeated that he shot Amokura.

"My beautiful baby. What has daddy done to you? You saw what she looked like. I did that to her," Sanft said, Cnst Kanai told the court.


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