A crowd of 700 gathered at Te Henga, Bethells Beach, last week to farewell Thomas Coombes who was allegedly murdered on May 24, NZ Herald reports. The family said the trauma of his death is widespread and has affected Mt Albert communities, AUT staff and students where Coombes studied, his wide circle of friends, work colleagues, as well as their own tight-knit community in the Bethells Valley. Coombes was also well-known in Waitakere as a member of the volunteer fire brigade. His brigade turned out in full force to his funeral to marshal and support the guests arriving at Bethells.