Two Work and Income staff made a desperate dash for the back door of their Ashburton office when the shooting started.
Homeless beneficiary Russel John Tully, 48, was yesterday arrested following the shooting of three women at the office, two fatally.
Lindy Curtis was last night in a stable condition in Christchurch Hospital with leg injuries. Peg Noble was on reception when a gunman walked into the office and shot her in the chest. A third woman was also killed.
Noble was 10 minutes from her tea break when she was shot at close range.
Yesterday, friend Elizabeth Rees said Noble was a second mother to her daughter, Kim, who worked in the same office.
Kim was due to relieve Noble on reception and had a narrow escape.
”She’s been crying and crying. She came home, saw her kids and it hit her,” Rees said.
Her daughter and another staff member had run for their lives to the back door of the office and then out to the street, Rees said.
I don’t think I can even understand the trauma the staff have gone through, let alone the impact on families and friends of those killed.
Noble had worked for Work and Income for 20 years and was supposed to retire years ago but loved her job.
”She lived for her job,” Rees said. ”She had a heart of gold and would do anything for you.”
If found guilty, I hope Mr Tully is basically never released.
The Herald reports:
Former Green MP Sue Bradford has drawn an outraged response after saying the Government’s “brutal policies” led to today’s attack on Ashburton Work and Income staff.
Ms Bradford, a life-long unemployment activist who now lectures in social practice at Unitec, tweeted: “Shocking news coming in of Work & Income shooting: awful, but a risk when office becomes front for brutal policies.”
Internet Party Kelston candidate Roshni Sami tweeted in support: “Nats brag that 1600 people p/w move off welfare into jobs, in reality they’re pushed off welfare into hardship. Shame!”
But a string of other people following Ms Bradford on Twitter attacked her for the original comment.
“Not appropriate Sue. Of all people you should know that,” tweeted Auckland psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald.
Media monitoring worker Regan Gibbons tweeted, “Really Sue, you couldn’t give it a day before politicising this tragedy?”
Others described the tweet as “a sick comment”, “a total disgrace” and “disgusting.” One tweeted: “You are an opportunistic, moralising windbag.”
I don’t what to even call such behaviour. If blaming rape victims for getting raped is called rape culture, is this murder culture? Good on those who called Bradford and the Internet Party candidate out. I had a couple of people also try to blame the victims or their employers on Twitter and Facebook, and instantly blocked them.
Ms Bradford said she sent out the tweet – which has since been deleted – before knowing that two people had been killed and her sympathies were with the workers who died.
Oh so in Sue’s world it is okay to blame the Government for the shooting if they were just wounded, but not okay if they were killed? Really?