The public prosecutor in New Caledonia has given details about a shooting incident after motorists near St Louis heard gunfire.
In a statement, he said armed police entered St Louis in a bid to recapture a fugitive Samuel Moekia who had been on the run since 2015.
It said when they approached his suspected hide-out, they were shot at with high calibre guns and Moekia fled.
It also said police returned fire in self-defence.
Nobody was hurt.