Police investigating the shooting of a road worker near Tokoroa yesterday say no one heard gun shots.
Detective Inspector Tim Anderson told a press conference in Taupo today a logging truck driver saw Hamilton man George Charles Taiaroa, 67, fall to the ground but did not hear any shots fired.
The Hamilton man was operating a stop-go sign about 3.20pm yesterday on Tram Rd in the Kinleith Forest area which bridges the Waikato River.
He had stopped a vehicle to allow a logging truck from Rotorua firm Rotorua Forest Haulage to cross a bridge.
As the driver passed Mr Taiaroa after crossing the bridge, he saw the road worker fall to the ground with gunshot wounds.
The other stop-go operator was about 200m from where Mr Taiaroa collapsed.
Mr Taiaroa's family this afternoon released a statement about the incident.
"This has been an unexpected and shocking event for everyone concerned. The family would like to acknowledge the overwhelming support they have received, and ask that the media respect their need for space and time to deal with the loss of a loving husband, father and grandfather," the statement said.
During the Press conference Mr Anderson said the shooting appeared to be an isolated incident.
"We have had a good response already from the public and we have a number of reports we are following today."
He said police were following up on a number of vehicles which could have been involved, including a blue 4x4-type vehicle similar to a Jeep Cherokee.
When asked about any motive for the killing, Mr Anderson said "It is only day two and it is too early to speculate around motives."
Mr Anderson said there were more than 30 experienced police staff from Rotorua, Tauranga and Taupo working on the homicide investigation.
Mr Taiaroa worked for national company HEB Construction and management have been reported as saying staff were "devastated".
Anyone with information should contact Taupo Police on (07) 378 6060, or anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.