Hoodie-clad man handled umbrella like hunting rifle

by Kim Bowden - Jul 04, 2024

The umbrella-wielding man at the centre of an armed police operation in Queenstown on Wednesday afternoon has been spoken to by local police, who say he has expressed remorse for his actions.

CCTV footage has revealed the man was carrying the umbrella as it was a rifle and pointing it at people.

He was dressed all in black, with a hooded top pulled over his head and covering some of his face. 

Police were alerted to the potential risk at approximately 2.30pm, when someone reported a man walking along tourist hotspot Marine Parade, beside Lake Wakatipu, carrying what looked to be a hunting rifle.

Police responded immediately, sending armed officers to the scene.

Queenstown's botanical gardens were also cordoned off as the man was said to be walking in that direction.

At the same time police were using CCTV to locate footage of the man and discovered that he was not carrying a firearm but a black umbrella.

Once police were satisfied they had ruled out any firearm, responding officers were stood down, but enquiries to locate the man involved continued.

Police have since spoken to him and no charges will be laid.

Senior Sergeant Glenn Wilkinson, the Queenstown response manager, says police treat every reported firearm offence seriously until proved otherwise.

"I am glad there was no firearm involved in yesterday’s incident, and I am proud of the speed at which our staff responded to the scene and cordoned off nearby areas."

A member of the public in the area at the time says they were told to leave the botanical gardens as police with guns swarmed in.

"(The) cops were all over it...We were told to move out."

Main image (Supplied/Police): Umbrella or rifle? A member of the public couldn't tell and reported the hoodie-clad man seen on Queenstown's busy Marine Parade to police.




Support Crux Support Crux