Tiny island community reeling after double killer shoots himself dead

An escaped prisoner who murdered two people in the Cook Islands killed himself after a stand-off with police on Thursday, ending a crime spree that shocked the tiny Pacific island nation. Chris Rimamotu shot himself after being surrounded by officers in an abandoned house the village of Titikaveka, Rarotonga. The convicted sex offender was taken to hospital but died of his injuries. His death brought to an end a 24-hour manhunt after he escaped from a prison work party and killed his former partner and her new boyfriend.

Five shots rang out and the cops retreated for cover. Police commissioner was talking to him and trying to get him out


Serious crime is rare in the Cook Islands, a nation of just 10,000 people about 3,200km (2,000 miles) north-east of New Zealand. In 2011 it recorded its first-ever bank robbery on the remote island of Aitutaki. But the islands went on lockdown after Rimamotu, who was jailed for seven years for kidnapping a young child, escaped on Wednesday. The 41-year-old went to his former home village where he strangled his former partner, Mary Dean, before gunning down her new boyfriend, Roger Tauarea, in what a witness described as an “execution-style killing”.

He walked very calmly, he looked very cool and collected. It is unbelievable really, it was so peaceful and beautiful in the garden

Witness James McPhail describes the shooting of Roger Tauarea