Four police officers have been shot by a gunman in a Bay of Plenty house, where a standoff is ongoing.
According to the Otago Daily Times, defence force staff and heavily-armed Special Tactics group are currently surrounding a house in Onepu Springs Road, on the North Island town of Kawerau, where the man is believed to be hiding.
The Herald reported that police put a no-fly zone in place after there were reprted that an offender was taking pot shots at a spotter aircraft during a cannabis recovery operation.
The gunman is believed to be texting his mother, who said that he wanted to come out, but is scared that he will be sent to prison. “Now that he’s done what he’s done, he would’ve been really scared,” she told reporters.
A neighbour said that the gunman is in his 20s, and was “born and bred” in the area.
Police were not letting family members to go beyond the cordoned area around the house. The gunman’s mother has asked police to let them enter and talk to him, but the request was denied.
“We would go in with our hands together and bring him out,” she said. “Son, we love you, you better come out, there is more for us on this earth.”
The gunman also allegedly texted a friend: “just bring me a pie and drink and I’ll come out.”
Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement told reporters that one officer was in “serious but stable” condition, and the three others had injuries that are not life-threatening.
“It is always distressing for us all when officers are injured doing their duty,” he said.