Police lay charges after Newcastle fatal shooting – Homicide Squad

Homicide Squad detectives have charged a man with murder following an investigation into the fatal shooting of another man at Newcastle last month.

About 12.45pm on Thursday 22 July 2021, emergency services were called to a unit at Darby St, Cooks Hill, following reports of shots fired.

Upon arrival, police located a 40-year-old man inside the unit with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Despite the efforts of emergency services, he died at the scene.

The man has been formally identified as Wesley ‘Wes’ Prentice from Rutherford.

Officers from Newcastle City Police District commenced inquiries, before detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad took carriage of the investigation under Strike Force Hibbard.

Following extensive investigations, Homicide Squad detectives , with assistance from officers from Newcastle City Police District, Tactical Operations Regional Support (TORS), Police Negotiators, Mid North Coast Police District and the Dog Unit, arrested a 35-year-old man near a caravan park at Bonny Hills about 5.45pm on Sunday (1 August 2021).

During a search of the man’s belonging, officers located a loaded firearm and cash. They were seized for forensic examination.

He was taken to Port Macquarie Police Station, where he was charged with murder, possess loaded firearm in public place, possess shortened firearm (not pistol) without authority and possess unregistered firearm in public place.

The Woodrising man was refused bail and appeared at Wauchope Local Court on Monday (2 August 2021), where he was formally refused bail to appear at Port Macquarie Local Court today (Wednesday August 2021).

As part of ongoing inquiries, Strike Force Hibbard detectives executed two search warrants at Bonny Hills and Windale.

During the searches, number of items were seized by police for forensic examination.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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