Gang member Okusitino Tae sentenced for shooting Killer Beez boss Josh Masters

A gang member who shot Killer Beez boss Josh Masters, leaving him paralysed, has been jailed for seven years.

Okusitino Tae met Masters years ago in Otara where they became good friends and joined the Tribesmen gang together.

But when Masters became the leader of the Killer Beez, their friendship soured.

In April 2019 Tae, now 40, handed himself in to police after shooting Masters outside an Auckland Harley Davidson dealership.

"Masters lived. But he is now a paraplegic, and will require caregiver assistance for the rest of his life," Justice Palmer said at the High Court on Tuesday. 

He said Tae had also tried to shoot Masters in the head but his gun jammed.

"The consequences here would have been more severe, had you not jammed your gun by mistake."

Masters had just been released from prison for dealing meth when he was shot.

Tensions between the Tribesmen and Killer Beez had escalated, but neither Tae nor Masters have ever given details about what triggered a shooting.

"It is not entirely clear to me that your offending was only because of tensions between the gangs," Justice Palmer said.

On Tuesday Tae's lawyer said he was deeply sorry for what he had done and had sought restorative justice.

"When he was asked to describe their friendship, Okusitino said 'Josh was my brother, I loved him… he is two years older than me, he has always looked out for me and protected me, he had my back and I had his'," defence lawyer Lorraine Smith said. 

Tae was initially charged with attempted murder for the shooting but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm last month. 

On Tuesday he was sentenced to seven years in prison but the restorative justice he hoped for was declined by Masters, with the story behind their fractured relationship still unclear. 

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