Gangsterism: Killer Beez boss, Josh Masters, shot in the backbone

Josh Masters
Josh Masters

Newshub has been told Killer Beez kingpin Josh Masters is lucky not to have been paralysed after being shot in the back.

Masters was at an Auckland Harley-Davidson store in Mt Wellington on Friday when he was allegedly attacked by Akustino Tae.

It is understood he was shot in the middle of his back and that the bullet hit one of his vertebrae.

Masters remains in a critical but stable condition at Auckland Hospital. Newshub has been told he is starting to move his legs and was lucky not to have been paralysed.

The Killer Beez was founded by Masters in the mid-2000s, with the leader declaring it as a way to help south Auckland children out of poverty.

But during the 2008 drug sting, police seized $500,000 worth of P and cannabis, $20,000 cash and stolen property.

Masters was convicted of dealing P and money laundering and sentenced to 10 years, five months imprisonment in 2012.

Masters allegedly continued to run the Killer Beez from prison, with the gang most recently allegedly involved in a 2013 Waikato prison riot, as well as attacks on guards at Auckland Prison in 2016.

He was released from prison last year after spending four years behind bars in remand.

The Killer Beez has long been a feeder gang for the Tribesmen – but sources have suggested to Newshub things between the gangs have soured.

One Otara local also referenced rising tensions between gangs in South Auckland in an online post, saying “it’s all gotten outta hand in our hood now”.

Tae, 39, appeared in court on Saturday facing a charge of attempted murder. He has been remanded in custody and faces a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment if convicted.

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