Stab Magazine | Tragic: Surfer Murdered In The Raglan Carpark

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Tragic: Surfer Murdered In The Raglan Carpark

Aussie surfer, Sean McKinnon, shot and killed while surf tripping through New Zealand.

news // Aug 17, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

Tragically, an Australian surfer has been shot and killed in an attempted carjacking in a carpark in New Zealand.

Sean McKinnon, a 33-year-old from Warrnambool, Victoria, was traveling with his Canadian fiancé and camping at the iconic left-hand pointbreak Raglan. Posted up at the Te Toto Gorge track carpark near the water, police believe that at approximately 3:30am Friday (local time) a man woke the couple, attempted to take their keys and shot McKinnon. His fiancé reportedly managed to escape and call the authorities from a nearby home.

The police located McKinnon’s body approximately 80km away in the town of Hamilton. The gunman remains at large.

Described as a “lovable, knockabout Aussie guy” who charged when the swell was up, McKinnon’s death comes as a huge shock.

“Talented musician, genuine, gentle man with a heart of gold,” remembered friend Wayne Such.

McKinnon’s murder comes amidst a global conversation about guns in our society. The United States continues to be plagued by extreme gun violence with what feels like a new mass shooting on a weekly basis. 

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s government has taken drastic action after a gunman killed 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch back in March. Almost immediately they pushed through legislation to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons. They also funded a program to buy back the guns that had been made illegal. The legislation overwhelmingly passed with a 119 to 1 vote.

Our thoughts go out to McKinnon’s loved ones. 


Update: After initial news of the incident broke, a massive manhunt led police through the Waikato area a 23-year-old male has now been arrested. He has been charged with murder, aggravated robbery and making threats to kill. 


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