A young mum shot and killed near Mourea at the weekend is being remembered for her “beautiful smile” and humble personality.
Korrey Whyman, 28, from Kawerau died on Wednesday, three days after she was found shot in a grey ute outside the Happy Angler Store & Takeaway near Rotorua in the early hours of the morning.
Her friends say she will be missed and it was tragic: “Her babies are left with no mamma.”
Police have launched a homicide investigation after Whyman was found inside the vehicle about 1.55am on Sunday with a serious gunshot wound.
She was rushed to Waikato Hospital but died on Wednesday morning.
Detective Inspector Lindsay Pilbrow said they were piecing together the events leading up to the shooting.
Pilbrow said the incident started on State Highway 33 near Rotorua Airport where a vehicle was following another vehicle firing multiple shots.
Whyman was in a vehicle that came to a stop at the store.
A friend, Nae Wiremu, was shocked to hear Whyman had died.
She described her as her “best friend” and they used to work together a few years ago at kiwifruit packhouse Trevelyan’s Pack & Cool in Te Puke.
Wiremu described Whyman as a “very humble person”.
“She’s going to be missed a lot, I tell you now. Her babies are left with no mamma. She was a beautiful person inside and out … She will be dearly missed.”
Wiremu said she only saw Whyman last week in Whakatāne and if she had known it would have been the last time, she would have made her stay with her.
“She was so humble and always happy to see her babies.”
Family members approached by the Rotorua Daily Post declined to comment but some have posted comments on a News Whakatāne Facebook post saying they would forever keep her memory alive.
Whyman’s neighbour, who only wanted to be known as Georgie, said she lived near Whyman in the Cobham Drive area.
“I didn’t know her personally but I knew her from a distance. A polite wave, soft hello and a lovely smile to myself and my kids. A beautiful girl trying her best, taken way too soon.”
Georgie said her thoughts were with those who cared for her and showed her “pure love”.
“She used to walk past with a pram but I hadn’t seen her for a little bit.”
Another friend told the Rotorua Daily Post Whyman was “humble and strong and cool to work with” in the kiwifruit packhouse in Te Puke.
“She was easy to talk to and always had a smile.”
Josie Powhare, whose daughter knew Whyman, told the Rotorua Daily Post those who knew what happened on the night of the shooting should speak up and not be afraid.
“The way she died is what hits a lot of people in general.”
The Rotorua Daily Post approached police for an update on the case but there was nothing new to report.
This story has appeared in the New Zealand Herald.