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'I've got a bomb': Police Minister reveals details of alleged gunman's arrest

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 20 March 2019, 8:44a.m.
The police officers who arrested the 28-year-old have been hailed as heroes and the Police Minister agrees. 

Police Minister Stuart Nash has revealed more details surrounding the arrest of the alleged Christchurch gunman.

Speaking with Mike Hosking, Nash said the alleged gunman was shooting his gun and yelling "I've got a bomb" during his arrest.

The police officers who arrested the 28-year-old have been hailed as heroes and the Police Minister agrees. 

He said the officers remained calm and collected during the ordeal and are "heroes".

"These two guys pull this guy out but at the same time he was yelling, 'I've got a bomb' and shooting at the same time, so we overuse the word hero but not in this case."

"I'm very, very proud to be their Minister. I just think they have stood up when they needed to. I'm very proud of them."

He also addressed criticism around the time it took for the police to arrest the alleged gunman. 

"The Commissioner and his team are looking through all the transcripts and the voice recordings and we think it might be as low as 20 minutes, the Commissioner can't believe it's that short," he said.

"We are talking about a big city, a widely spread city, to have the guy arrested either within 20 minutes or 35 minutes, I think is extraordinary."

When asked whether the officers would be receiving bravery awards, Nash said he can't "preempt anything" but there "aren't too many more acts of bravery higher than that".

On Monday, it was revealed that the officers who dragged the alleged gunman from a car following the shooting, came straight from a training session on how to deal with armed offenders.

Stuart Nash said while they may have been training for it, nobody expected the day to end as it did.

"They do train for this but they just showed an extraordinary level of calmness."

"When these guys were confronted with a chap...who was firing shots, who said he had a bomb, they were calm and they executed their duties in a way that I think was extraordinary. [I'm] full of praise."

National MP Mark Mitchell agrees, saying the police officers showed a huge amount of bravery and professionalism.

He also applauded the work of the first responders and hospital staff who dealt with the "horrific scene".

"We can be so proud of them. We need to find a way to recognise all of them."

"There are going to be more and more unsung heroes, who emerge and come out of what has been a terrible tragedy for us as a country, but shows the fibre and the metal of what we are made of."

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