You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Police are hunting a man who burst into a Waikato home with a firearm and threatened six people, including two young children, this morning.
Detective Senior Sergeant Daryl Smith said the incident began about 9am, with reports of a burglary at a Kihikihi property on Whitmore St.
"Officers from the nearby Te Awamutu Police Station attended what, at first, appeared to be a fairly routine job, but it very quickly became anything but that," he said.
"While at the address they've encountered a man who, when asked to stop, instead fled. Chasing the man on foot, one of our two officers were suddenly confronted by him brandishing a firearm."
The man fled to nearby Whitmore St, ran through a property and scaled a fence to reach another property on Hall St, he said.
"He entered the home and confronted the occupants, taking the keys to one of their cars.
"That car, a silver 2003 Honda Accord station wagon, registration number GJE327, is believed to have a white sticker on its rear window with the words 'Train Station,' on it.
"Locating this vehicle is crucial to our case and we urge anyone who sees the vehicle not to approach it or its occupants, but to call 111," Mr Smith said.
Anonymous tips about the incident could also be provided via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
"The key thing right now is to identify and locate this offender and to get the victims of this morning's incident the help and support they need," Mr Smith said.