Man missing after Te Awamatu armed callout
Police are warning the public not to approach a man who escaped their grasp and is believed to be armed with a pistol.
A portion of Te Awamutu was locked down last night, residents reported gun shots and the town was rife with rumour and speculation about what happened.
Waikato District shift commander, Senior Sergeant Rupert Friend said they responded to a report of a man with a gun.
''It was for a domestic for a guy who was a bit unstable but they never found him,'' Friend said. ''They found her and they're still trying to get to the bottom of the story. They're not even sure if anything actually happened. It was a bit of a fizzer in the end.''
There were no shots fired, however police used tear gas and smoke grenades to clear the house.
Western Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Paul Carpenter, said local Te Awamutu officers and members of the Armed Offenders Squad responded to a Rewi St address shortly after 6pm.
A woman fled to a neighbour's place after allegedly being threatened by her partner who she said was armed with a pistol, Carpenter said.
"Initial reports suggested there were two young children at the address however as cordons were being established we were able to confirm they were with a relative."
Carpenter said cordons blocked traffic along Rewi St and Station Rd and the cooperation of KiwiRail was obtained to shut down train traffic on the Main Trunk Line.
Voice appeals failed to get a response so tear gas and distraction devices were used to clear the house.
"The male occupant was not located at the property and we believe he had fled the scene shortly after the incident began."
Given the initial information that Toki Ranier Takerei, 26, is armed, police are advising the public not to approach him but to phone 111 if they see or are in contact with him.
Takerei is a male Maori of solid build with a pre-existing warrant issued for his arrest in relation to fines matters.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Sergeant Chris Greenwood on 07 858 6200.
Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with the independent Crimestoppers on 0800555111.
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