Police at the scene in the supermarket car park. Photo NZ
Police say three officers, including one who was shot,
displayed "courage of the highest calibre" in a confrontation
with an armed fugitive in a supermarket car park this morning.
Three dog handlers confronted an offender after tracking a
stolen van to the car park of the Mill Street Pak N'Save at
about 11.30am this morning, police said.
A sawn-off shotgun went off as they tried to wrestle the man
to the ground, seriously injuring the offender and wounding
one of the officers.
Neither injury was thought to be life threatening and both
the offender and the injured officer were undergoing medical
Early indications are that the 35-year-old offender is Zeb
McCalliion, who was being pursued over a burglary and home
invasion in Kihikihi yesterday, police said.
Police commissioner Mike Bush said the three officers had put
themselves at risk to protect a member of the public.
"The bravery of these officers in tackling an armed and
dangerous offender to keep innocent members of the public
from harm is in the finest traditions of the New Zealand
Waikato police commander Bruce Bird said staff were working
to support the injured officer's family.
He said it was likely the officer would receive recognition
at a later date.
'It turned out to be a shotgun'
Mark Strongman of Huntly said he was shopping with his wife
He said he saw a van pull into the car park and a man jumped
out armed with what Mr Strongman thought was a crowbar.
"It turned out to be a shotgun."
The man tried to force a woman out of her car at the petrol
bowser, but was unsuccessful.
"He had a woman by the scruff of her neck and he tried to
haul her out. She had the good sense to hang onto the wheel,
and not let go."
By this time police had reached the man and Mr Strongman
heard a gunshot.
The man was quickly apprehended by at least four police
officers, he said.