Police have called on the public to assist them in finding the killers of a man shot dead just days before the birth of his first child.
It has been revealed by Counties-Manukau Police that Afa Brown was gunned down in Mangere East in the early hours of Sunday morning after being confronted by at least three offenders.
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Mr Brown was waiting for a friend to pick him up just after 12:45am when he was approached and shot.
"He has then been shot twice before the offenders cowardly ran from the scene," says Detective Inspector Tofilau Faa Va'aelua.
"This is a senseless act of violence that has left a newborn baby to grow up without a father. Mr Brown was unarmed, out-numbered and defenceless.
"I want to reassure the community that we are working hard on this case and we are determined to bring these offenders to justice.
"Police have been supporting Mr Brown's family, but they are absolutely devastated and mourning his death.
"The persons responsible for this need to man-up and hand themselves into Police. I don't see any courage or toughness in how this father to-be was ambushed."
On Monday, friends gathered to pay tribute to the 26-year-old at the spot where he was gunned down.
"He was humble, he was respectful to elderly people," one told Newshub. "He's gone too soon, you know."
Mr Brown's wedding day was less than two months ago, and he was awaiting the birth of his child this week.
"[It was] a new chapter of his life, trying to live right - I was trying to help him," a friend said.
"He was a good fulla, humble; he was a funny guy too," another said. "It was an honour to know him."
Some family and friends have said online that the victim did have gang connections, although no one has confirmed this.
His death comes less than a month after a man was shot and another suffered facial injuries at Mangere Bridge. Police also said they were shot at early on Sunday after three men fled towards Mangere from Kingsland following an alleged aggravated robbery.
Police have told the public to contact Counties Manukau Crime Squad on (09) 261 1321 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 if they have any relevant information.