Police investigate shooting in Hamilton
Children were found at a Hamilton home where a man was believed to have been shot overnight.
The 31 year old underwent surgery in Waikato Hospital on Saturday morning to repair damage caused by a single gunshot wound to the leg.
Police cordoned off a modest white house down a right of way off Higgins Road in a residential area of Frankton on Saturday.
Blood could be seen smeared on the wall outside an open ranch slider at the house, which had been abandoned since the early hours.
Police responded to the home after neighbours reported hearing a loud explosion about 4.40am.
Shortly after that, the man arrived at Waikato Hospital with the gunshot wound.
"We believe the two incidents were connected," Waikato Police Acting Detective Sergeant Raymond Sunkel said.
"As a result of that, we have conducted some inquiries and at the moment there is a scene examination at an address that is of interest in the inquiry."
Sunkel said the injured man lived at the property and was driven to the hospital by a woman, who also lived there.
Children were at the house at the time. They are now in the care of family members.
"We believe there were a number of children at the address when the incident happened. At this stage we don't know if they were awake or asleep, what they have or haven't seen at this stage.
"They are all safe, well and happy."
Police were yet to locate the firearm and establish who was responsible, he said.
"We are hoping that a scene examination will give us the facts as to what has happened and some leads as to who is responsible."
It was too early to say if the victim and offender were known to each other, he said.
"We haven't located anybody responsible for the incident yet. We would like to hear from anybody who has any information that can assist us."
Residents in the area believed a woman in her 30s and up to three children, from a toddler to primary school age, lived at the property with her partner. People were regularly seen coming and going.
One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, was woken to a bang at 4.38am.
"It was a loud bang. It did sound like it might have been a gun, but I wasn't sure."
Two men and a woman could be seen at the open back door of the property just after the bang was heard.
One man was walking along the fenceline.
"I heard a vehicle leave a wee while later, maybe five minutes or so.
"There are kids, I have seen kids there."
Another resident said his wife heard a bang as she got ready to start work about 5am.
"They have maybe been there for three or four months. There are always people coming and going, cars coming and going.
"I don't know what went on there last night, but they do argue a lot."
Resident Paul Rush was surprised to find police outside across his neighbour's property.
"I was fast asleep - must have slept through it. It is a bit of a shock to see it there."
A woman who had lived on the street for 26 years said she regularly saw people outside the house talking as "as if it was daylight" at 3 or 4am.
Sunkel said the man had non-life-threatening injuries.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Hamilton police on 07 858 6200. Alternatively, people can provide information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.