Police, including the armed offenders squad, have swarmed to the Invercargill suburb of Grasmere after a reported shooting.
Heavily armed police officers cordoned off both sides of Drury Lane between Haywood Street and Bay Road, stopping bystanders and even residents from entering.
St John Ambulance said one person has been injured in the incident and has been rushed to Invercargill Hospital in a critical condition.
A police spokesman said the incident involved a firearm and police and St John had been called to Drury Lane.
The armed offenders squad was assisting police.
No arrests had been made.
A witness, who saw an ambulance enter the street, said there had been a "shooting", but this was yet to be confirmed by police.
Ramu McCallum, who was returning from work was one of those stopped from entering the road.
"I didn't expect to come home to this. It's pretty crazy."
Damian Duffy, a resident who lives on Drury Lane, opposite the cordoned off section, said he was about to leave for work when he saw the police cars converging on the shooting scene down the road.
He said that the first police vehicles he saw arriving at scene did not use their sirens.
"An ambulance showed up and it was there for five to 10 minutes."
As the Otago Daily Times reporter was speaking to Mr Duffy a police car pulled up with the police officer urging them to get into their house "in case anything else happens".
The Otago Daily Times reported six police cars with lights flashing, four in one direction and two in the other, at speed down North Rd.
Armed police were guarding a cordon at Drury Lane.
A St John spokesman declined to comment, saying all information needed to come from police.
- This story was first published on the Otago Daily Times.