An armed and wanted man has been shot in the chest after a stand off with police in Motueka this afternoon.
Police were tipped off that the man was in a car and when police approached the car took off. A short pursuit ended when the wanted man went down dead-end street. He then got out of the car with a gun. Police attempted to negotiate with the man for some time but were unable to talk him around. The man was shot shortly after 4pm.
He was then arrested and given immediate medical attention before being rushed to Nelson Hospital.
There will be a full investigation into the incident by police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority is being notified.
Tasman district commander superintendent Karyn Malthus said police were still piecing together events from today’s incident at a press conference in Wellington this evening,
No police staff or members of the public were injured, Ms Malthus said.
“No police officer goes to work wanting this sort of thing to happen.”
She described today’s incident as a “very fluid” and “fast paced” event.
She said she could not reveal the parole conditions the man had allegedly breached.
Police association president Greg O’Connor says police officers carrying out routine duties had been confronted by armed offenders three times in the last nine days.
“New Zealanders need to understand that the days of New Zealand criminals being unarmed are well gone.
“On each of these three occasions, a police officer could very easily have lost their life. This is at a time when police commanders are facing a funding crisis and are struggling to fill frontline staffing positions.
“It is not enough for Governments to talk about reductions in reported crime when serious violence continues to be a major problem in New Zealand society and is boiling over into incidents like these.”
Deputy principal of nearby Parklands School, Jenny Milne, said this afternoon that there were rumours of a firearm used in the incident. “We’ve advised people to come away from the front of the school and leave it to the police. Maybe a firearm but police haven’t contacted us to lock down the school”
Motueka resident Haylee Biggs says she was at the scene after an ambulance left but there is plenty of talk about what happened on the street. “There were quite a few people on the street watching and boy was going around saying there was a gunman but didn’t see much myself.”