‘Extremely difficult time’: family plan funeral of stabbed teenager, police update investigation

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Police are investigating the fatal stabbing of a Christchurch teenager at a party. Photo: George Heard

Police say they have a “clear” picture of what happened at a house in an upscale Christchurch suburb moments before Zion Purukamu was fatally stabbed.

The 16-year-old died after being injured during the party on Medbury Tce in Fendalton on Friday night.

Two other victims were also stabbed – one aged just 14 and the other 17 – and are in serious condition at Christchurch hospital.

Police said the party was attended by around 80 young people, some of whom were not invited.

It took place in a house rented via Airbnb on Medbury Tce, described as “a quiet cul-de-sac”.

Today, as the hunt for her murderer intensifies, Zion’s family have spoken for the first time.

“Zion’s family would like to thank the entire Christchurch community for the support and aroha they have shown over the past few days,” they said in a statement provided by police.

“It continues to be an extremely difficult time for them as they plan ahead for Zion’s funeral on Friday.

“Right now, they are asking for confidentiality to focus their efforts on the funeral preparations.

“They would like to thank those who have come forward to share information with the police and encourage all who have not yet come forward to do so.”

Zion’s partner also posted a tribute online.

“I feel so lost, nothing will ever be the same again,” read the post.

“I feel like I’ve lost the best part of myself. You have a place in my heart that no one can ever replace.

“You were my brother to the world, you made everything feel so much better.

“I feel like I can’t even stand on my own two feet anymore.

“Fly high my love, light up the sky.”

Medbury Police Tce.  Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

Medbury Police Tce. Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

The investigation, dubbed Operation Medbury, is ongoing and police said today investigators “continue to make positive progress” after Zion’s death and the serious assault of two other young men.

“Thanks to the large number of cooperative people who have come forward, we are confident that we have a clear picture of what happened that night on Medbury Terrace,” Detective Inspector Michael Ford said.

“Investigators also received both CCTV footage and cell phone images which they are now examining.

“We would like to thank everyone who acted on our request for information.

“It has turned out to be extremely valuable.”

Medbury Tce remains cordoned off as police complete the final stages of the scene.

Ford said police would continue to provide updates and support to both Zion’s whānau and the other two victims and their families.

Can you help? Contact the Operation Medbury team
Information can be provided via 105, citing Operation Medbury, or anonymously via Crime Stoppers – 0800 555 111.

You can also check out this version, including additional images, on the NZ Police app or here.


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