Serious firearms incident in Auckland
"Police investigation ongoing following serious firearms incident in Auckland"
Attribute to Superintendent Naila Hassan, Waitemata District Commander:
Police enquiries are ongoing following a serious incident where a driver allegedly fled across Auckland in a highly dangerous and reckless manner, before being apprehended by Police.
Police were first notified at 3.12pm of a firearms incident where multiple shots were reportedly fired following an altercation in Northcote on Potter Ave.
No one was injured in the firearms incident.
A male fled the scene a short time later in a red Holden Sedan, where he was observed by Eagle helicopter driving southbound on the Northern Motorway.
The vehicle was observed travelling onto the North Western Motorway before turning around and continuing towards the city.
The vehicle was seen travelling extremely recklessly, weaving in and out of traffic at dangerously high speed.
The vehicle then travelled back onto the Northern Motorway exiting at Onewa Road.
The driver is believed to have discarded a firearm out of the vehicle in Northcote.
The vehicle continued to flee, continuing back on the motorway where it travelled down to the Southern Motorway.
At one stage, a Police vehicle engaged with the offending vehicle, which failed to stop for Police.
The Police vehicle abandoned pursuing the driver due to the reckless manner of driving.
The Armed Offenders Squad and Dog Squad were also called to respond to the incident.
The fleeing vehicle continued to be monitored by Eagle helicopter, where it was observed travelling onto SH20 before exiting at Roscommon Road.
The offending vehicle was eventually brought to a stop by Police near the intersection of Weymouth Road and Roscommon Road at approximately 4.25pm.
The driver was apprehended by Police and during this time, the alleged offender was bitten by a police dog.
He has been transported to Middlemore Hospital where he is currently under scene guard being treated for a bite wound.
Superintendent Naila Hassan says the actions of the alleged offender put the lives of innocent motorists and Police officers at risk.
“This was an extremely volatile and dangerous situation where we had a person who was known to have used a firearm, demonstrating violent behaviour and fleeing police.
“He posed an extreme risk to the public, with the vehicle travelling at times on the wrong side of the road at high speeds.”
On more than one occasion the driver clipped vehicles driven by innocent members of the public.
“This would have been extremely frightening for other motorists.
“This incident could easily have had a tragic outcome.
It is only sheer luck that innocent members of the public were not injured or killed, particularly as multiple vehicles were clipped by the offending vehicle.
Superintendent Hassan says Police fired more than one shot at the offending vehicle near the intersection of Weymouth Road and Great South Road, due to the serious and imminent risk this alleged offender posed to the public and Police.
“This is yet another incident where a violent offender with a firearm has fled Police.
“He needed to be stopped, and I am incredibly proud of the efforts by Police officers across Tamaki Makaurau, who did their very best to keep the community safe and resolve a volatile and fast-moving situation.”
A Police investigation is now underway and several scene examinations are taking place across Auckland.
Multiple Police cars were damaged in the incident.
Enquiries are ongoing in relation in to the discarded firearm.
A 44 year old male will be facing a number of driving and firearms-related charges.
Details on the charges and any court appearance date are yet to be confirmed.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been notified of the incident.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or the red Holden Sedan driving in a dangerous manner is asked to contact Waitemata Police on 09 839 0697.