Shots heard, trio arrested in West Auckland incident
Two men and a woman have been arrested by armed police after an incident in West Auckland where shots were heard.
Witnesses from retails shops in the Royal Heights shopping complex in Massey said they heard three to four gunshots and estimated the ordeal lasted around two hours.
They said they stayed inside the shops until the incident was over and the trio had been caught by police.
"I felt scared. I didn't know what happened," a retail owner who did not want to be identified, said.
A staff member from Royal Heights Pharmacy said, after hearing shots, she only went out of the shop once she realised police were at the scene.
"It was really quick actually. I was surprised it happened as fast as it did [that police arrived]."
Outside, she said she noticed two flat tyres and a broken window on one of the cars.
She said there had been an increase of "unsavoury characters" hanging around the area of late.
Another retailer said, when he heard the shots, he locked himself out the back of the shop.
A police operation, involving the armed offenders squad, was completed by 3.30pm.
The two men, aged 39 and 48, and a 40-year-old woman would appear in the Waitakere District Court on Wednesday on a charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, police said.
"Police would like to thank the community for their patience as the operation was carried out."
Last month, Police Minister Paula Bennett visited the shopping complex to announce a fund to help shopkeepers, dairy owners and other businesses battling a spate of aggravated robberies.
She said she was "absolutely disgusted" by the incident on Tuesday.
"My thoughts are with these shop owners," she said.
"This is exactly why I announced the $1.8 million dollar package to increase safety at small independent owned businesses."
- North Harbour News