Chris Skelton / Stuff
A teenager was arrested following a manhunt after the person allegedly beat a teenager to death. (File photo)
A 16-year-old boy has denied murdering a teenager who was punched in a Christchurch supermarket parking lot.
Emergency services were called to the countdown parking lot on Moorhouse Ave, Sydenham, around 2 a.m. on Saturday after Levi Haami was found seriously injured.
The 18-year-old was taken to Christchurch Hospital in critical condition and placed on life support. Police have opened a homicide investigation after his death on Sunday afternoon surrounded by family and friends.
The 16-year-old was arrested on Monday.
* 16-year-old charged with murder of Christchurch teenager
* Stricken Christchurch teenager Levi Haami dies as police track down attacker
* Tears and anger as boy appears in court charged with murder of teenager
His defense attorney, Moana Cole, pleaded for the teenager during an appearance before Judge Tony Zohrab in Christchurch Youth Court on Monday afternoon.
She said no request for bail would be made and that he was remanded in custody by the director general of Oranga Tamariki.
His next appearance will be in the High Court on February 4 – murder cases automatically transfer there after the first appearances in juvenile court.
He maintained the automatic deletion of the juvenile court name before the High Court appearance, but Judge Zohrab explained that the deletion issue would then be reconsidered.
Detective Inspector Joel Syme said police are not looking for anyone else in connection with Haami’s death.
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“It is a tragic outcome and once again this year we are investigating the murder of a young person in our community,” he said earlier.
âThe victim’s family accepts his loss this evening and is understandably upset. We are helping them get through this difficult time. “
Several people saw the attack, Syme said, and he thanked those who provided the information.
“We know there are others who have not yet spoken with us, and we encourage them to do so.”
Haami’s family declined to comment.
Forensic investigators examined the scene of the attack in the parking lot on Saturday for clues.
On Saturday evening, armed police took to the streets of central Christchurch.
It was not clear whether the operation, which appeared to be focused on Salisbury Street, between Colombo and Manchester streets, was linked to the car park attack.
The attack on Haami came on the first night of easing restrictions on reception venues under the amber traffic light system, with bars and restaurants open without restrictions for those fully vaccinated.
It followed the deaths of two young men who were killed in separate incidents late at night in Christchurch in recent months.
Zion Purukamu, 16, died after being stabbed at a party in Medbury Tce, Fendalton in August.
Last month Connor Whitehead, also 16, was gunned down outside a 15th birthday party on Heaphy Pl, Casebrook. Five people have been charged with his death.