NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
WAIKINO SCHOOL TRAGEDY
FRIDAY 19 OCTOBER 1923
From the Te Puke Times 23 October 1923.
Waikino School Tragedy
Madman Runs Amok - Schoolchildren Killed - Policeman and Others Injured
The most terrible tragedy for many years occurred at Waikino (near Waihi) at 10 o’clock when John Christopher HIGGINS, a middle aged man, ran amok with an automatic pistol, and attacked the school, shooting two children dead, wounding the schoolmaster and five others.
The children killed were: -
|Kelvin Maurice McLEAN||aged 13 years|
|Charles Alan STEWART||aged 9 years|
The wounded were: -
|Constable Herbert J OLSEN||of Waihi||shot in abdomen|
|Robert Theodore REID||Schoolmaster||shot in the jaw|
|Peter Raymond SHAW||aged 12 years||shot in the elbow|
|Alexander BUSTARD||aged 12 years||shot in the groin|
|Kathleen Clara McCARRY||aged 13 years||shot in the thigh|
|James Peter McKINNEY||aged 8 years||shot in the elbow|
It appears that Higgins had a grievance on the ground that he had been notified to send his children to school. He called at the school and after an altercation with the headmaster, shot him and proceeded firing indiscriminately.
In attempting to escape through a window, one boy James COCHARNE, had his right arm broken, and another Ashley CURRY sprained his wrist.
On hearing the shooting, the townspeople investigated and found HIGGINS was shooting over a corner of a window sill. The Waihi police were sent for, but HIGGINS was sheltering behind a door, and although they fired they could not hit him. In approaching, Constable OLSEN was shot. HIGGINS apparently then became intimidated and surrendered.
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