Invercargill Random Shooter Sentenced
The man who shot another man at random while walking near Queens Park was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on Friday.
Anthony Miles Watkins, 25, was charged with unlawful possession of a sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and unlawful possession of ammunition in a public place.
The incident took place at approximately 9am on Saturday, June 30, 2018. Anthony Watkins and another man had been walking north on Kelvin Street after partying all night. The victim and Watkins had crossed paths, but neither party exchanged words.
The summary of facts said both the defendants were “huddled together and a loaded sawn-off double-barrelled shotgun has been discharged”.
A second shot was then fired, with pellets hitting the victim’s legs and causing significant bleeding. Surgeons were only able to remove five of more than 100 pellets.
Both Watkins and the second defendant ran off, with Watkins abandoning his sweatshirt and gun components while jumping a fence. The other man returned to the victim, dropped part of the weapon, and remained in the area.
Watkins, who is a patched gang member, was arrested by the Armed Offenders Squad over a month later in Invercargill.
In the summery of facts, Watkins denied shooting the victim. He said he found the gun in some bushes, and it went off while in his pants and again once it fell out of them.