Christchurch teen Connor Whitehead’s death: Wanted man understood to have unwittingly alerted police to his hideout

A wanted man suspected of shooting dead a Christchurch teenager outside a birthday party unwittingly alerted police to his whereabouts by ringing them about an impounded car, the Herald understands.

Connor Whitehead, 16, died from gunshot wounds after attending a 15th birthday party and fireworks in the northern suburb of Casebrook on November 5.

Two men have been charged with his murder.

They have been granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody.

Three others have been charged with being accessories after the fact to Whitehead’s murder – allegedly helping the two suspects evade police in the hours and days after what’s been called by police a “brutal, senseless” attack.

Now, the Herald can reveal fresh details over how police tracked down the man they believe may have pulled the trigger.

Armed officers raided several properties, including one just outside the city, in the days after the killing.

On Sunday afternoon – two days after Connor was shot – it’s understood that the suspected gunman phoned the police non-emergency 105 number about an impounded car.

But in doing so, it’s understood that he gave away his location to police.

Armed officers arrived at the Burnside house they believed he was hiding in shortly afterwards.

The property was quickly surrounded and searched.

Officers fired several CS gas rounds into the house and even used a chainsaw to gain access to the roof space before they allegedly found him hiding in the garage.

The man received bite injuries from police dogs during his arrest and was hospitalised.

He was later charged with murder and has been remanded in custody.

The two men charged with murder, along with the three charged as accessories, are due to appear in the High Court in Christchurch next Friday, November 26.

The killing has devastated Whitehead’s family who said at a press conference that they are “shocked and heartbroken” at his “senseless and violent” death.

“He was at a party with his friends. He should have been safe and he should be home with us,” father James Whitehead said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Nicola Reeves, who is leading Operation Stack, the massive police inquiry into the case, said the killing has had devastating effects.

“Connor had his whole life ahead of him and this brutal and senseless incident has robbed that from him and his family,” she said.

Reeves earlier said inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information that may assist should contact police on 105 and quote event number P048523046.

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