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The murder of Detective Constable Duncan Taylor
5 July 2002 began like most other day for Detective Constable Duncan Taylor. Saying a quick good-bye to his wife and their 11-month-old son, Campbell, he dashed out the door and was gone. Later that day while enforcing a protection order at a Rongotea farmhouse, he was shot in the head and chest and died instantly.
Detective Constable’s Duncan Taylor and Jeanette Park were following a young local resident by the name of Daniel Luff, to the Taipo Rd farmhouse. When Luff lept out of his vehicle with a stolen, high-powered rifle, Detective Taylor tried to stop the young man.

Meanwhile, the owners of the farmhouse, Robert & Christine Cocker were at home with one of their daughters, Stephanie. Stephanie and Daniel Luff had dated for several months previously and the young man had not taken it well when Stephanie had tried to finish the relationship. The protection order had been taken out only two weeks before, when again Luff had arrived at the farm with a firearm and had threatened to kill himself.

When Stephanie saw her ex boyfriend arrive she hid, then escaped out the window and took refuge at a neighbour’s house. Her parents then barricaded themselves into a part of the house where the young gunman couldn’t reach them.

Detective Taylor got out of the police car and confronted the youth. Daniel Luff then shot the Detective in the head and the chest at point blank range. As he lifted the firearm to shoot at Taylor’s partner, Jeanette Park he smirked and fired 3 times. While trying to flee the scene Detective Park received a shot to the thigh, and felt one narrowly miss her head, leaving her to drag herself 700m to call for help. Meantime Luff broke into the house and refused to come out.

When the call came in to the armed offenders, Detective Sam Hansen was one of the first on the scene. As he and the dog handler pulled up along side the ambulance he had no idea that the officer being treated was his wife, Jeanette. They carried on towards the Taipo Rd farmhouse where Duncan’s body still lay. A few moments later Hansen was called back to accompany Jeanette to the hospital.

The siege carried on for the next 4 hours, with Daniel Luff refusing to come out or to let anyone check the condition of the Duncan Taylor. There were more shots fired but eventually the youth was gassed out of the house and police arrested him with the help of a police dog.

Although the siege was over, the man known as a gentle giant lay dead at the scene for almost 24 hours before his body was returned to his wife and son.

Daniel Luff, the 17-year-old that took the life of Duncan Taylor and attempted to take the life of Jeanette Page appeared in court on the 6 July 2002. He walked with a limp from a bite he received from a police dog during his arrest. He was remanded in custody until July 15.

15 July 2002 during his brief appearance, Luff entered no plea and was again remanded in custody.

On 18 September 2002, Daniel Luff was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum parole period of 17 years for the murder of Duncan Taylor, 10 years for the attempted murder of Jeanette Park, 5 years for firing at Detective Constable Tony Heathcote, 7 years for kidnapping Robert and Christine Cocker, 5 years for aggravated burglary and 2 years for burglary. All of which are to be served concurrently.

Detective Constable Jeanette Park returned to light duties soon after.


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5 July 2002 began like most other day for Detective Constable Duncan Taylor, and ended with instant death after being shot in the head and chest by a 17 year old.

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