Avondale homicide: Victim named as Mars Rakeem, accused appear in court

Police have released the identity of a man allegedly murdered in Auckland’s Avondale over the weekend in what the Herald understands to be a gang-related shooting.

He was Mars Rakeem, aged 28, of Avondale. Police said they are supporting his family during this very distressing time.

Meanwhile a man and woman who appeared in court this afternoon following his death said “I love you” to each other.

Rakeem died after a shooting on Saintly Lane on Saturday which prompted a homicide investigation.

A man, aged 24, has been charged with Rakeem’s murder and unlawfully carrying a firearm and ammunition.

A woman, 20, has been charged with accessory after the fact of murder, by tampering with evidence against the murder accused by “altering the scene in order to enable him to avoid conviction”, court documents reveal.

She has also been charged with attempting to dissuade witnesses, by using threats of violence, from giving evidence of the alleged murder.

The pair have been charged with possessing the class A drug methamphetamine.

They appeared in Auckland District Court this afternoon via audio visual link and were granted interim name suppression until their next appearance at the High Court on October 20.

The pair told each other they loved each other a number of times during the appearance.

The woman, wearing a blue boiler suit, was heard audibly sobbing, and at one point bent over and clutched her stomach.

The man was wearing no T-shirt. He told the woman to “smile” and not to cry. He was remanded in custody until October 20.

The investigation into a fatal shooting is centred on the Mongols gang, the Herald understands.

Police aren’t seeking anyone else in relation to the death, but the investigation is ongoing.

“If you were at this address and we haven’t spoken to you, or you saw people and vehicles coming and going from it during this time, we strongly encourage you to come and talk to us,” Detective Inspector Lloyd Schmid said yesterday.

Police are also asking for sightings of a black-coloured Honda Stream, with the registration HLL620.

“We believe this vehicle travelled from 19 Saintly Lane to nearby Rosebank Drive and we’d like to speak to anyone who may have seen it at about 4.30am,” said Detective Inspector Schmid.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 105 and quote file number 211002/1241.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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