A teenager who fatally collapsed at The Warehouse in Whangarei on Tuesday was the victim of a stabbing in Onerahi just over three weeks ago.
Online tributes are pouring in for the 17-year-old, who died despite efforts by St John paramedics to resuscitate him in the store.
Comments on a post reporting the death, on the Northern Advocate's Facebook page, numbered 41 by late yesterday - most expressing their condolences to the family of the young man.
One post from a woman says she is the teenager's aunty and reads: "... it is true he was stabbed ... but was in hospital, today he has collapsed and passed away. The fact that any mother should be burying their child is a tragedy and [I] hope that whatever is reported is accurate. Please just remember that we still have whanau to contact. Thank you though for your thoughts and prayers, I will let his mum know about them. Please tell your teens how much you love them today!"
On October 30, the teenager had been treated at Whangarei Hospital and transferred to Auckland Hospital, where he underwent surgery after he was stabbed in the chest at a Ross St, Onerahi, address.
A woman arrested at the Ross St house appeared the following day in the Whangarei District Court.
A police spokeswoman declined to comment on any possible link between the Ross St incident and the death of the teenager at The Warehouse.
A Northland District Health Board spokeswoman said the teenager had been admitted first to Whangarei Hospital and then transferred to Auckland, and then back to Whangarei. The spokeswoman said the health board was not investigating as it was a sudden death that happened outside a hospital. The death has been referred to the coroner.
Another post on the Northern Advocate's Facebook page yesterday, from a woman who saw the teenager collapse, praised a member of the public who came to his aid.
"I just wanted to share that I was there when he collapsed and saw this amazing woman come to his aid, she didn't think twice about what to do and she worked so hard to keep him alive, along with some other ladies who also tried all that they could to help. My deepest sympathies to you all whanau - arohanui ki a koutou."