New Zealand man killed in suspected hit-and-run in Sydney

A man killed in a suspected hit-and-run in Sydney at the weekend was a New Zealander described as a “highly talented lawyer” by his employer.

Mitch East, 28, was found bleeding on a Tamarama street at 4am on Sunday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Tamarama is in the city’s east, just south of Bondi Beach.

“Police and paramedics performed CPR but were unable to revive the man and he died at the scene,” NSW police said.

He had “extensive inquiries”, police said in their initial statement. Australian media said police suspected it was a hit-and-run, but were not ruling anything out.

According to his LinkedIn profile, East had previously been a judge’s clerk and the Supreme Court of New Zealand and a senior adviser to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch Terrorist Attack. He had studied at the University of Otago and Harvard.

His current employer, Australian law firm Arnold Bloch Leibler, told staff in an email he was a “highly talented lawyer and popular and valued member of the firm, whose loss will be deeply felt”.

The text of the email was shared with RNZ.

“The partners expressed heartfelt condolences to Mitch’s parents, his partner and many close friends, both within and outside of Arnold Bloch Leibler.”

Sydney Morning Herald reported East’s family had been informed of his death by police, and were “upset and distraught”. NSW Police on Monday afternoon (NZT) said the investigation – dubbed ‘Strike Force Dunguid’ – was being taken over by specialist officers from the Crash Investigation Unit.

The driver of a white SUV nearby was reportedly being sought by police, who were combing through CCTV footage. No arrests had yet been made.

“As CCTV continues to be reviewed and witnesses spoken to, investigators renew their to appeal for any relevant information, CCTV or dashcam vision from the public.

“Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.”

9News reported neighbours hear “a loud bang or thud followed by a car alarm” around when it happened.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson told RNZ consular officials were aware of the death in Sydney.

“We extend our sympathies to their family at this difficult time.”

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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