An armed man fired shots and attempted to carjack three cars
before being arrested in Tauranga last night.
The incident began around 8.45pm when police received a
complaint about driving on State Highway 2 near Katikati.
A short time later the vehicle was located in Whakamarama;
however, as police approached the vehicle it sped off towards
A pursuit was then initiated and spikes were used in an
attempt to stop the vehicle, police said.
The driver lost lost control of the car at a roundabout in
Baypark and a man in the car fired shots towards three police
officers as they exited their vehicles.
The man then headed on foot into Truman Lane as members of
the public started to exit Baypark Arena.
Although witness information was still being collated, police
said they were aware of three attempts to take vehicles from
members of the public at gunpoint.
A staff member at a nearby commercial building was also
confronted by the man and had their vehicle taken.
Police said at that point an attempt was made to challenge
the man; however, the vehicle failed to stop.
The car then hit road spikes and the officer deploying them
narrowly avoided being struck by the vehicle.
Police then lost sight of the vehicle and initiated area
About 40 minutes later the vehicle was spotted again near the
Maungatapu Bridge and another pursuit was initiated.
The vehicle was followed on to Marine Parade before the man
again pointed a gun out the driver's window before it fell to
A short time later the vehicle came to a stop and a
32-year-old man from Auckland was arrested by armed officers.
A firearm was recovered in Marine Parade and both spent and
live ammunition was recovered from the Baypark area.
Western Bay of Plenty area commander Inspector Clifford
Paxton described the ordeal as "an extremely fast-moving and
"The priority for police staff was to try to contain the
situation as quickly as possible and maximise the safety of
the community. We are extremely pleased that no-one was
"Although we have identified a number of members of the
public who were confronted in the Baypark area, we want to
hear from anyone else who was caught up in the incident and
has not yet spoken to police so that we can ensure they
receive any welfare support that they might require."
The arrested man will appear in Tauranga District Court later
today facing a charge of using a firearm against a law
Other charges are expected to follow.
Police appealed for anyone directly affected by the incident
or who had any information that may assist the investigation
to contact Tauranga Police on (07) 577 4300.
- Brendan Manning of APNZ