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Police speaking to suspect after gun aimed at Eagle helicopter

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Crime,
Publish Date
Monday, 7 January 2019, 9:22a.m.
The incident began early this morning in Taupaki. (Photo / NZ Herald)
The incident began early this morning in Taupaki. (Photo / NZ Herald)

A suspect is in custody after reports of a man aiming a firearm at the Eagle police helicopter sparked an armed police incident in West Auckland this morning.

Cordons were put in place at the scene on Red Hills Rd in Taupaki after police received a phone call from a resident about 1.20am saying he'd heard a gunshot.

Inspector Kerry Watson said police arrived shortly afterward. The police Eagle helicopter also responded but reported seeing a person at a nearby property pointing a firearm at the aircraft.

Police cordoned off that property and brought in the Armed Offenders Squad.

At about 6am police made contact with the alleged offender, who had now been taken
into custody and was assisting police with enquiries.

"We've now cleared that address and taken three people away," Watson told media.

"One of those persons is a person of interest and we're now interviewing that male."

No one has yet been charged.

The operation involved 40-50 staff due to the risk involved and the rural terrain.

Watson said it was difficult getting into the property as it was very dark and there was a level of risk due to firearms being reported.

"We were then able to make contacts with the suspect and called him out of the address. He was compliant."

The property remained cordoned while police searched the address. No firearm had yet been found but a specialist firearms dog was being brought in to search the large rural property for firearms.

Police do not currently believe a firearm was discharged at the initial address.

Earlier, police asked motorists to avoid travelling through the area.

A police spokesperson said police were currently speaking with the people involved.

"When officers arrived, a person walked out of a different address and presented a firearm at the helicopter flying overhead," the spokeswoman said.

A person commenting on a local Facebook group said a family member had left the cordon area at 5.30am but had to be questioned by police and have their vehicle searched before being allowed out.

Another resident posted: "Something major, Nixon road shut by cops at the top of the hill down to Taupaki, lots of police, ambulance and tv news there."

Watson said police were responding to a specific property in rural West Auckland when a person from a neighbouring property reportedly presented a firearm at the police helicopter.

"We were focused on that address… however the police helicopter, whilst flying overhead, saw an individual from a different address come out and present a firearm at the helicopter."

It is understood there has been a police presence at a property on the street since 1am.

 

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