DETECTIVES investigating the murder of Wesley Prentice at a unit in Cooks Hill last month allege they can link Michael Thomas Rae to the shooting through DNA and CCTV footage, the Newcastle Herald can reveal.
Mr Rae, 35, of Woodrising, was arrested at Bonny Hills, a coastal town about 20 kilometres south of Port Macquarie, on Sunday afternoon, ten days after Mr Prentice was gunned down inside a unit in Darby Street.
Mr Prentice, a 40-year-old from Rutherford known as "Wes" who was couch surfing in the unit block, was shot once in the chest at close range and a man and woman were shortly after seen running to a nearby motor vehicle, police said.
Detectives allege that Mr Rae and Mr Prentice both attended the unit in Darby Street on July 22 and were allegedly involved in an altercation about 12.45pm before Mr Prentice was shot. He died at the scene.
Police allege Mr Rae and a woman ran to a blue four-wheel drive and, after collecting a significant amount of CCTV footage, police say they were able to track that vehicle to a home at Windale.
Crime scene officers also allegedly located DNA inside and outside of the unit that police say links Mr Rae to the shooting.
After Mr Prentice was shot, police allege Mr Rae and the woman fled north and were staying at a caravan park in Bonny Hills.
About 5.45pm on Sunday, police say they spotted Mr Rae at the intersection of East Street and Beach Street in Bonny Hills.
He was carrying a bag that allegedly contained cash and a loaded shortened single-barrel 12-gauge shotgun.
A huge contingent of specialist police were on hand - including tactical police, police negotiators and the dog squad - and police moved in and arrested Mr Rae without incident.
Police allege they found the car allegedly used to flee the shooting in a nearby shopping centre car park.
Rae was charged with murder, possession of a loaded firearm in a public place, possession of a shortened firearm without authority and possession of an unregistered firearm in a public place and his matter was mentioned in Port Macquarie Local Court on Wednesday where it was adjourned to Newcastle Local Court next month.
Detectives searched an address at Bonny Hills and one at Windale and say they seized a number of items for forensic examination.
Police say investigations to identify any potential accomplices are ongoing.