Masterton has its own three cinema movie complex. It’s called, not surprisingly, Regent 3 Cinemas. It’s a little tired. Threadbare carpets. Broken seats. Faithful reproduction of 3D movies in 2D. The kids love it. They call it the-big-screen-where-you-can-watch-a-movie-and-eat-popcorn-while-you’re-watching-the-movie. It’s the last place on earth you would expect an armed offender’s callout.
A couple of years ago now a man was seen on the roof of the movie complex. Crouching behind a parapet carrying a gun. Armed police with tracker dogs were alerted and raced to the scene.
The movie complex is owned by (then) Masterton District Councillor Brent Goodwin. It turns out that it was his son [snip*] who sparked the incident. He says he was shooting pigeons on the roof with an air rifle. In Masterton’s main shopping precinct.
This is what I love about rural New Zealand. He didn’t get blown off the roof by armed officers, the military or even a concerned bystander. Instead, the media report on the incident expressed the gunman’s wish that police not level charges against him. He was about to travel overseas and didn’t want the inconvenience of a firearms conviction on his record.
Let’s hope he [snip*] doesn’t take his firearm with him on his travels.
* name removed by request 12/8/11