Gunman who killed police dog dead after siege
Silence greeted police through most of the night as they tried to negotiate with a gunman, who they later found dead.
Pita Tekira, 29, is believed to be the man who killed a police dog before barricading himself in a house on Kokiri Cres, Porirua, north of Wellington.
It is believed he shot himself.
A police dog named Gazza was shot and killed and an officer injured after he leapt out of a second-storey window of the house on Friday morning, sparking a siege that continued until Saturday morning.
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On Saturday morning police gained access to the ground floor of the house and used a remote camera to confirm Tekira's body was in a room on the upper level. He was alone and there was a firearm present.
Tekira had "put some effort into barricading himself into an upper level of the house", Wellington District Commander Superintendent Sam Hoyle said.
"We'd gone through a long process as part of negotiations. Eventually we knew had to enter and confirm what had happened at the address," Hoyle said.
Police had been in communication with Tekira for the best part of the night. The last communication from Tekira was just prior to midnight, Hoyle said.
Police fired no shots during the operation, but "deployed a number of tactical options", including gas canisters, which made loud bangs.
"Despite all our efforts to negotiate with Mr Tekira to seek a safe end to the incident, officers this morning found him dead at the scene.
"This is certainly not the outcome that anyone wanted, and our thoughts are now with his whanau as we continue to investigate the circumstances of his death."
A resident who preferred not to be named said the usually-busy street had been "pin-drop quiet" apart from the bangs of the tear gas canisters.
There were no children yelling, and her family and the one next door stayed very quiet.
Odysseus Tipiwai, a 15-year-old local, said Tekira was a nice guy.
He'd only met Pita Tekira a few times, but he didn't expect him to be at the centre of a police stand off.
Tipiwai had seen Tekira around with his kids, and believed Tekira had been living in the neighbourhood since the start of the year.
Police thanked the Porirua community and especially the residents of Kokiri Crescent who had been directly affected by the operation.
"We very much appreciate the community's patience and understanding while police worked to resolve this dangerous situation safely, especially those residents who were unable to return to their homes overnight.
Our thanks also goes to Te Horouta Marae which provided food and accommodation to those residents."
Police expected the cordons in the area to be lifted once all the necessary scene examinations had taken place.
"However there will continue to be a number of police staff in the area over the coming days while we continue our inquiries into this incident."
The officer injured after jumping to safety from a second story window during the original incident remains in a stable condition in hospital and is receiving medical treatment.
He and his family are also being supported by his police colleagues.
"We also greatly appreciate the many messages of support that we have received for the injured officer and also for Police dog Gazza who died doing his duty," Hoyle said.
The police officer involved in the incident had leapt from the window after the police dog - called Gazza - was fatally shot.
In a press conference on Friday afternoon Wellington District Commander Superintendent Sam Hoyle said the officer "jumped out the window immediately after the dog was shot to escape the gunman". The officer sustained fractures, he said.
Porirua resident Richard Nafatali said he saw an injured man wearing a police uniform lying on a stretcher being put in a helicopter that landed on Kokiri Cr.
The man didn't look conscious, Nafatali said. "He wasn't even moving."
Hoyle said it had been a "harrowing day" for all. Police were supporting the injured officer and his family, as well as the dog handler.
Gazza, a four-year-old German Shepherd, died at the scene. He had previously survived an attempted strangling while chasing down a criminal in 2015.
SHOTS AND SCREAMS HEARD
Kokiri Cr resident Pania Birch-Stretch said she was making a cup of tea at about 9.30am when she heard a "loud scream" from outside her kitchen window, coming from two doors down.
"I looked out the window and I saw a lady cop and two guy cops running out the driveway."
She said one of the male police officers was carrying a dog, which had been shot.
"All I saw was all this blood dripping from the dog. I rang my friend because I was quite shocked by what was happening, and then I looked out the window and I saw a guy running from the house with a big gun. It was freaky."
She said the gun reminded her of something out of a video game.
The gunman ran off up the street, chased by an armed police officer.
Police and emergency personnel swarmed to the street, and a police officer was taken away about an hour later, Birch-Stretch said.
"I saw a cop getting gurneyed away."
She said as she watched she was on the phone to her friend, shaking and thinking "what the hell?".