Goran Milosavljevic died after being allegedly punched in the head outside a Countdown supermarket in Papakura in south Auckland.
He was taken to Middlemore Hospital on Wednesday but died early on Thursday morning, Counties Manukau police Inspector Dave Glossop said.
A number of family members were in the dock with one woman calling out “stay strong son”.
He will next appear at the High Court at Auckland on May 23.
“Our deepest sympathies are with them at this time.”
Countdown managing director Dave Chambers said the company was “deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our team”.
Milosavljevic had worked there for eight months.
“No New Zealander should go to work and not expect to return home to their loved ones,” Chambers said.
“Our focus right now is to support the family and our team in whatever way we can.”
Chambers said Countdown had made its security footage available to the police and would continue to cooperate with the investigation.
A number of flower bouquets had been left at the front entrance of the supermarket on Thursday.
Security Association chief executive Gary Morrison said he was devastated to hear the news.
“We haven’t had a death within our industry since 2011 so it’s not something that happens often,” he said.
On November 18 2011, 22-year-old Charanpreet Singh Dhaliwal was found dead at a West Auckland construction site.
It was his first night as a security guard.
In 2013, the man charged with his murder was found not guilty.
“We are operating in risky roles, like I said we are devastated but we appreciate that we operate with that risk factor as well,” Morrison said.
Morrison said the association would be looking into the incident further.
E tū, the union for security guards, was alarmed by the guard’s death.
Union co-ordinator Jill Ovens said the guard had died while working to keep others safe.
“This is a tragedy for the family and will also be very upsetting for the man’s colleagues. No one should go to work and not return home at the end of the day,” Ovens said.
She said it was particularly concerning since it was the second serious assault on a security guard within the past week.
An Auckland City Hospital security guard was violently assaulted on April 27.
A staff member at nearby Stampede Bar said “a couple” of her staff members saw the assault, but she did not want to comment further.
A WorkSafe spokesperson said the company had been notified of the assault and would be making inquiries.
“As the deceased was at work at the time of the incident this is considered a notifiable event under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015,” the spokesperson said.
Source – Stuff