Hauraki 'gun incident' resolved

CORDON: Police blocked roads after gunshots heard near Puriri, Hauraki.
CORDON: Police blocked roads after gunshots heard near Puriri, Hauraki.

Police are interviewing a man after he allegedly pointed a gun at his neighbour.

Emergency services were alerted to reports of shots being fired at a Neavesville Valley property, east of Puriri in Hauraki, about 1.35pm, Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Martyn Hughes of the Thames-Coromandel CIB said.

"Initial reports were that a firearm was pointed by a man at a neighbour after that person went outside to investigate the noise of several shots.

"As a result local police converged on the area and requested the assistance of the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad (AOS), a team of police negotiators and the Auckland-based Eagle helicopter."

Once the area was cordoned and contained, Hughes said a voice appeal got under way.

"As a result of that the AOS have cleared the property and we are now speaking to a 69-year-old man from that address to establish just what, if any, offences have been committed.

"Situations like today’s are always fraught with risk and police have to consider the worse possible scenarios. Because of this cordons have to be established and access to areas restricted, inconveniencing large numbers of people but this is always done with the safety of the public in mind."

Hughes said police supported the safe, lawful use of firearms and asked all shooters to consider the environment in which they are operating and who may be affected by their shooting.

Earlier, police confirmed that shots had been fired in a major police operation between Paeroa and Thames.

Motorists were warned to avoid unnecessary travel between Paeroa and Thames due to ''a major policing operation'' but the road was expected to open shortly after 3.20pm.

Road closures were in place on State Highway 26, and at the intersection of SH26 (Paeroa-Kopu Rd) and SH25A.

Resident Monique Fitness saw numerous police cars in Puriri village, between Paeroa and Thames, when she picked her two children up from school. One ''whizzed'' past. Fitness went home and locked the doors to be on the safe side. She says a helicopter was circling an area east of Puriri.

Waikato Times