One man dead, four police officers in hospital after shooting and fleeing vehicle events in West Auckland

One man dead, four police officers in hospital after shooting and fleeing vehicle events in West Auckland

A man has been shot dead by police and four officers are in hospital following two serious West Auckland incidents in the space of just 11 hours.

This morning, police were called to a shooting incident in Glen Eden and an officer was last night struck by a fleeing vehicle while deploying road spikes in New Lynn.

Speaking to media this afternoon, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said four officers are now recovering in hospital as a result of both incidents, two with serious injuries but not life threatening.

“It’s the worst thing you can have in my position. When I heard multiple officers had been shot my heart sank.”

Coster said police were today called to an address just after 8am on Glen Eden’s Danube Place after reports of a house fire and a man discharging a firearm.

One man dead, four police officers in hospital after shooting and fleeing vehicle events in West Auckland

Three police officers have been injured in a dramatic incident in Glen Eden this morning. Photo / Dean Purcell

They tried to engage the man to disarm but over 30 minutes of negotiating he became increasingly agitated and aggressive.

Coster said residents of neighbouring properties were evacuated and a police dog and “distraction devices” were also deployed.

“The situation escalated further when the man fired at police and officers returned fire, incapacitating him,” Coster said.

“Our staff delivered first aid to the man, but tragically, he died at the scene. Our people come to work everyday to keep people safe and this is the last thing we want.”

A neighbour of the man killed in the shootout has described the incident as shocking, saying there had been no previous issue with him.

The woman, who did not want to be named, told the Herald she lived near the house where the man was shot dead this morning.

She said the man was in his 60s and he had lived alone at the property, owned by Kainga Ora, for a few years. She said there had been no previous issues with the man and his death has been shocking and sad.

The woman said he had mentioned to her that he’d “got into a bit of trouble with some people recently”.

Today’s shooting has sparked fresh calls from the police union for frontline officers to be routinely armed.

One man dead, four police officers in hospital after shooting and fleeing vehicle events in West Auckland

A Police officer stands guard at a cordon in Glen Eden this morning. Photo / Dean Purcell

Police now have commenced a critical incident investigation, and the Independent Police Conduct Authority and WorkSafe have been notified as is standard practice.

This afternoon, a National Party spokeswoman said its MPs will not be making any comments in the media about any issue until after Caucus meets tomorrow to confirm a new leader.

However, National’s police spokesman Simeon Brown tweeted that the increasing violence against police “is a worrying trend”.

“Frontline Police are being put under significant danger under this soft-on-crime Labour Govt,” he said.

“The Govt needs to stop pandering to gangs and criminals, and start taking law and order seriously.”

One man dead, four police officers in hospital after shooting and fleeing vehicle events in West Auckland

Police at the scene near Danube Lane. Photo / Dean Purcell

National MP Mark Mitchell, who spent 13 years as a police officer, tweeted that policing was becoming “more and more dangerous”.

“My thoughts are with the family of the Police officer who was run down in New Lynn last night and the two police officers shot today,” Mitchell said.

“Policing under the leadership of Minister Poto Williams and Police Commissioner Andy Coster is becoming more and more dangerous. Step up and lead.”

Police Minister Poto Williams said her thoughts were with “the officers impacted by the events of this morning”.

“I try to call every officer who gets seriously injured on duty. These are not calls I want to have to make.”

One man dead, four police officers in hospital after shooting and fleeing vehicle events in West Auckland

Armed police have surrounded a property in Glen Eden. Photo / Dean Purcell

Police Association vice-president Mike McRandle said the officers who attended today’s shooting had attempted to resolve it calmly, but matters escalated to the point they had to respond.

“It is dreadful that a person has died, and also it is an enormous strain on the officers put in a position of having to return fire,” McRandle said.

“Using lethal force is the most difficult decision for a police officer and has long-lasting ramifications.”

McRandle said today’s shooting was yet another example of the “terrible consequences” of the proliferation of easily accessible firearms throughout New Zealand communities.

He cited the Herald’s article today highlighting the 900 firearms incidents already reported in parts of Auckland this year.

Police were responding daily to gun violence, armed robberies, carjackings and inter-gang warfare with firearms involved, and police officers were also being shot at.

“We are witnessing a policing environment that is progressively more and more dangerous and it is no surprise to the association that the majority of its constabulary members believe they need to be armed.”

Dramatic video footage captured by residents showed how this morning’s event unfolded.

At one point, officers can be seen rushing towards the property before taking cover behind police vehicles and a small truck parked on the road.

Another video shows several police officers – armed with rifles pointed at the house – lining up behind each other before moving in.

Multiple shots can be heard at times, a dog barking and yelling from Police for residents to get in inside, as well as to the man at the centre of the incident.

Later on, officers can be seen helping one of their colleagues from the property before they are then spotted performing CPR, doing chest compressions as an ambulance arrives.

As the video ends the officers can be seen still working on the injured person, not letting up their lifesaving efforts.

There has been a lot of debate about whether police officers should be armed since Constable Matthew Hunt died last year as they respond to a growing number of gun violence incidents.

Williams has been opposed to the general arming of police, saying it was a stance based on feedback she’d received from Māori, Pasifika and South Auckland communities who she claimed were against general arming.

Coster has also dismissed the calls for all frontline officers to be armed.

Instead in September he announced a new tactical response team in response to increasing violence against officers.

More police will have armed offender squad training as part of a $45 million Government investment in frontline officers’ safety.

At the time of the announcement in September, Coster said Hunt’s death was the driving force for a complete rethink of frontline safety.

The proposed model means more than 200 additional police officers will be qualified at the armed offender squad standard. Currently there are 300 members of the armed offender squad.

Current tactical training to frontline staff has also been doubled from 3.5 to 7.5 days per year.

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