Homeowner stunned by armed alert

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 05:00 21/11/2012
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MARCUS WILD

ARMED RESPONSE: Armed Offenders Squad members with police dogs outside a Johnsonville address.

Chris McKenzie
CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ
CHRIS MCKENZIE: 'Good on them for taking things seriously, but you've got to have a laugh about this one.'

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As armed police surrounded his house, Chris McKenzie was sitting at a roadblock next to his colleague - MP Tariana Turia - and wondering what on earth was going on.

He was told someone had been seen with a gun at his home, and that his wife was at the police station.

"That is the craziest thing you can ever imagine," he said.

Armed officers were sent to Ironside Rd, Johnsonville, about 3.30pm yesterday after a woman walked into the nearby police station to report seeing a gun being pointed through a window at the home.

Streets in the area were blocked and residents told to stay inside as police surrounded the house and waited for the armed offenders squad.

When they arrived, the unit used a megaphone to try and coax out the two men they believed were inside the house.

"We know you're inside. If you do what I say, no one will be hurt," an officer shouted at the house.

There was no response and, after about an hour, the armed police raided the home.

By that time the two men aged 21 and 23 who allegedly sparked the incident had emerged at the cordon outside and were told to talk to police by their uncle, Mr McKenzie.

One of the pair had been "mucking around playing war with himself" using a plastic toy gun in a front bedroom, and a woman had mistaken it for a shotgun, Mr McKenzie said.

The toy gun was a present for his 12-year-old son, Paki, for his 10th birthday

"To be honest, the police do a bloody good job," he said. "I'm glad that it's overkill because next time it might be something a bit more [serious].

"Good on them for taking things seriously, but you've got to have a laugh about this one."

He understood the 21-year-old had been charged with possession of an imitation firearm.

Mrs Turia called the events as "a bit of drama". She ended up buying pizza for the family because they were locked out.

Police were unavailable for comment last night.

Contact Blair Ensor
Police reporter
Email: blair.ensor@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @blairensor

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- The Dominion Post

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