Shot fired in home invasion
''Screams of terror'' were heard coming from a Christchurch home where a woman was injured and a shotgun fired after two masked men forced their way in through the front door.
Police are looking for at least one other offender after the home invasion at 1am today.
A neighbour said he awoke to the sound of banging and crashing. He could hear the glass of the front door being smashed.
The woman in the house started screaming for help and he phoned 111.
''It was a scream of 'Oh man, I'm in trouble','' he said.
''It was really awful; screams of terror.''
He said he could hear someone cursing and telling her to ''Shut the f... up'', and she then went silent.
He thought he heard a gunshot.
The neighbour did not know the family personally, but knew the children were in the house.
He said ''heaps'' of police arrived shortly after.
He got back to bed about 4.45am.
A friend of the victim, who lives in a nearby street, said she believed the offenders had ''definitely got the wrong place''.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said the victim was a stay-at-home mother in her 20s with two young children.
Her partner worked night shifts at the nearby Foodstuffs factory.
Police confirmed he was at work at the time of the home invasion.
The woman said the family were nice people with no enemies.
''He just works hard; works long hours to support his family.''
She said she had not heard the commotion but knew the family were ''all okay''.
Police said two men wearing balaclavas forced their way into the house, where a mother and two young children had been asleep, and demanded money.
One man was carrying a shotgun and police say a single shot was fired inside the house.
The woman was able to escape from the property and call for help.
When police arrived, the men had left the property, but one of them was tracked to an address in nearby Fenchurch St.
A dog handler and a constable confronted the man, who presented the loaded shotgun at the officers.
The police dog was able to subdue the man, and the dog handler disarmed him.
The woman suffered minor injuries when leaving the property through a broken glass door, and the two children were safely removed from the property by police and family members.
A 30-year old man appeared in the Christchurch District Court today.
James Carpenter, a labourer, of Aranui, appeared before Judge John Clapham and was remanded in custody to October 11.
The case was stood down when it was first called to get details for an application for interim name suppression by Carpenter.
When it was called again, defence counsel Shannon-Leigh Litt said: ''No grounds can be advanced for the application.''
With the suppression bid abandoned, the case was remanded without plea.
Carpenter faces charges that while accompanied by ''persons unknown'' he robbed a woman of her cellphone, wallet and keys, as well as charges for unlawful possession of a shotgun, using a firearm against a police officer and having a shotgun while committing an armed robbery.
Detective Sergeant Chris Power said police say were still looking for another man, described as a male Maori.
A third person may have been waiting in a vehicle nearby.
Power said that although nobody was seriously hurt, the incident was extremely serious and potentially volatile, particularly with a young family involved.
The use of a firearm to threaten the victims and police officers was of extreme concern, he said.
Investigations into the incident, including a forensic examination at the scene, were continuing today.
''There are plenty of inquiries yet to be done,'' Power said.
- © Fairfax NZ News