Police shoot man dead after armed stand-off in Tauranga

Author
Bay of Plenty Times,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 9:02PM
Armed police have closed part of State Highway 2 near Tauranga. Photo / Supplied
Armed police have closed part of State Highway 2 near Tauranga. Photo / Supplied

Police shoot man dead after armed stand-off in Tauranga

Author
Bay of Plenty Times,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 9:02PM

Police have shot dead a man who they wanted to speak to in relation to a double homicide in Tauranga.

District Commander Superintendent Andy McGregor said police tried to stop a car at 7.46pm on Carmichael Road in Tauranga in relation to a double shooting on Tuesday.

"The vehicle failed to stop and a firearm was discharged at Police. The vehicle fled toward the CBD, and continued to fire shots at Police."

McGregor said the car then stopped and an occupant continued to fire the gun.

"Police returned fire and in the exchange the offender was fatally wounded."

One witness told the Herald it looked like a person was lying on the ground and a nearby car appeared to have been run off the road.

He believed the person had been shot but that hasn't been confirmed by police.

Residents on social media have reported hearing shots and seeing police with guns and ambulances rushing towards the area.

The witness said the police near the man on the ground were dressed in black.

"There were police in black, like what the Armed Offenders Squad wears."

The incident comes after police increased their presence in Tauranga after two men were shot dead at a property in Omanawa on Tuesday.

Residents on social media have also reported seeing police with guns and hearing shots.

Witness Shianne Ormsby said she saw "a huge amount of police respond" to the situation.

"Little did I know they'd be a few metres from my house blocking off the main set of lights, all while being armed."

Mike Dork, who works in the area, said he saw up to 10 undercover police cars screaming southbound down SH2.

"Every cop in the area looks to be here," he said.

Witness Shianne Ormsby said she saw "a huge amount of police respond" to the situation.

"Little did I know they'd be a few metres from my house blocking off the main set of lights, all while being armed."

McGregor said the Armed Offenders Squad is in attendance and there is no further risk to the public.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has said the highway is closed between Cambridge Rd and Fifteenth Ave. Motorists have been asked to avoid the area.

Police Minister Stuart Nash warned residents yesterday that they should expect to see more armed police in the street.

He said the escalated response was a temporary measure aimed at tackling the latest flare-up between gangs.

"Expect to see police openly carrying their Bushmaster rifles and Glock pistols. Expect to see police wearing their new body armour," he said in a statement.

"Expect to see the Eagle helicopter in the air. Expect to see police executing search warrants at gang properties and stopping vehicles carrying gang members and associates."

Tuesday's homicide was the latest in a series of brazen shootings involving semi-automatic firearms, with a suspected arson along a row of the Bay of Plenty shops last month.

Nash said the Government was pouring more resources into policing the Bay of Plenty, targeting gangs and organised crime.

Detective Inspector Mark Loper said a scene examination was ongoing at the property of Tuesday's shooting with support from forensic specialists and an Auckland specialist search group.

He said additional investigation staff were being brought in from around the country to assist Bay of Plenty police.

Loper said they were still working to understand the circumstances of the deaths and the involvement of any other parties.

"While police have spoken to a number of people in relation to the incident, we believe there may be others who are yet to talk to us."