Line Of Fire Series Finale

8:30pm Monday, November 16 on TV One

In the third and final instalment of Line Of Fire, members of New Zealand Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) talk for the first time about the final moments of the massacre at Aramoana – the repercussions both official and back in their own homes (tonight at 8.30pm on TV ONE).

The haunting horror of Aramoana will remain with squad members forever, with the outcome they finally forced upon David Gray challenging them in ways they had never considered possible.

Squad members Tim Ashton and Peter McCarthy came across the house that Gray was in. McCarthy says they were happy to have finally found his hiding spot: “From within [the house] there was just this huge amount of fire going straight down towards my head… There was fire going both ways past me. I pulled away as quickly as I could around to the edge, I didn’t even look for any holes, I just knew I was ok. We were just absolutely stoked that we had our man.”

Ashton and McCarthy went around to the front of the house and held on the front doors. Ashton says he fired his gun to let Gray know they were there. “I fired high to keep him down, and hopefully there was no one else in the house, so I fired high to let him know we were there, and he wasn’t gunning down women and kids.”

The pair called on Gray to come out. Ashton says if he’d come out at that stage with his hands in the air he would have been arrested. “If he’d just come out and put his hands in the air, no matter what he had done prior to that you couldn’t shoot him, no matter what you thought, or how repulsive, or how much loathing you had for him, you could not shoot him.”

Ashton says after Aramoana he went home and tried to put it out of his mind. “Everyone has dealt with numerous situations – you have to move on, you can’t dwell on it. If you dwell on it you’re finished.”

The 1990s and 2000s presented a frightening new era of violent incidents for the AOS, as levels of crime in New Zealand began to hit new heights. Gang warfare began to rise and the use of P became more prevalent – it seemed fearless lunatics were on sprees everywhere – forcing the AOS to become tactically more aggressive.

Tonight’s episode shows the lowest points of the job. One member talks openly about the time he fired a fatal shot and the enormous toll that took – and continues to take – on his life. Other members battle the evolving crime of today – abductions, armed convicts fleeing custody, ‘P’ fiends with hostages on the motorway firing at police with wild abandon.

The terrifying crime of the 1990s and 2000s dictates that these men and women risk their lives in increasingly more diabolical situations. What drives these men and women to do this largely thankless job?

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