Kiwi boxing trainer Kevin Barry's family friends wounded, killed in Las Vegas shooting

  • 03/10/2017
Barry is the trainer of NZ's world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker.
Barry is the trainer of NZ's world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. Photo credit: Photosport

Veteran boxing trainer Kevin Barry has spoken out over the personal impact the Las Vegas shootings have had on his family.

Barry, trainer of Kiwi heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and a Las Vegas resident for over 14 years, told NZME that a friend of his 22-year-old son Taylor had been shot dead.

His wife Tanya's good friend was also shot in the chest, while her daughter was wounded in the arm.

"When you've got 59 people dead and 527 in hospital injured, you know that you're going to know some people and my wife woke up this morning with a lady friend of hers and her daughter... were both shot last night - the mother in the chest and the daughter in the arm," said Barry.

"Both are alive but they've had a rough time."

It's an area very familiar to the Olympic silver-medallist who's spent years training and promoting in what is widely considered the unofficial headquarters of boxing.

Parker and Barry live together in a gated community around 20 minutes drive from the Mandalay Bay, where the shooting occurred. The 57-year-old admits the incident has touched him "in a very real way".

"I got up this morning and there were a lot of concerned messages from New Zealand and different parts of America. I turned the television on and sat there almost in shock. I sat there with a cup of coffee - I couldn't eat my breakfast. It made me sick. The last time I felt like that was in 9/11.

"When you look at the people who have been injured in this catastrophic event, I think there are going to be a lot more people that we know once the names come out."

Parker is currently back in Auckland where he's enjoying a break after his win over Hughie Fury in Manchester, while Barry and travelled back to Vegas immediately following the bout.

"It's times like this that you have to appreciate life and appreciate that everything can change very quickly."