27 Feb 2019

Police exchange fire with wanted man in Christchurch

9:03 am on 27 February 2019

A man is in critical condition after leading police on a pursuit and exchanging fire with them in the Christchurch suburb of Richmond, on Tuesday.

The scene of the shooting in Christchurch.

The scene of the shooting in Christchurch. Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

Residents on Eveleyn Couzins Avenue reported hearing gunshots at about 7.30pm yesterday.

Matthew Roberts was in his apartment across from where the incident took place when he heard the gunshots outside.

He told Morning Report: "I heard sirens and I thought it was coming from my TV, but then I thought 'actually, that's too loud', so I popped my head out the balcony, then I could hear gunshots.

"I looked at my right towards the street where all the police were and then I saw the police were firing guns.

"They were kind of popping up and hiding behind trees, about three or four cop cars were there ... I saw a smashed car and a guy on the ground and the cops all over him, so I assume that's who they'd been shooting at.

"The cops have been here all night."

He said police had talked to neighbours in his apartment complex and that a cordon and barriers remained around the crime scene this morning.

A police cordon in Richmond, Christchurch, where a man was shot on Tuesday evening.

A police cordon in Richmond, Christchurch, where Eveleyn Couzins Ave residents reported hearing gunshots. Photo: Katie Todd / RNZ

Police said the wanted man failed to stop his car on Breezes Road, Shirley, about 7.20pm.

The car was spiked and came to a stop on Eveleyn Couzins Avenue, Richmond.

Police said the man fired at them with what was believed to be a shotgun.

Police returned fire and the man was shot in the lower body.

Police gave first aid and the man is now under guard at Christchurch Hospital.

RNZ spoke to one Christchurch resident who said she heard gunshots going off in her neighbourhood.

Nicola Eccleton was at her home on London Street in Richmond, when she heard the commotion.

"The first thing I heard was a few bangs. Then my husband came through and said 'did you hear that?' I said 'yeah, what was it?' Then it started up again and he said they're gunshots. It sounded like it was maybe one or two blocks away."

A police cordon in Richmond, Christchurch, where a man was shot on Tuesday evening.

Photo: Katie Todd / RNZ

Ben Houlahane was cycling on Evelyn Couzins Road when a car and pursuing police drivers sped past, nearly knocking him off his bike.

When it stopped, he says there was an exchange of gunfire between the driver and police.

"I was just down on the corner of Stanmore Road there just over the bridge and, yeah, he shot down there. But there was a good 10 or so shots that actually shot between them."

Dean Seager was one of dozens of nearby residents who turned out to the police cordon after hearing the incident.

"There were heaps of cop cars driving up and down, then about a few minutes later, muffled shots go off ... [I wasn't] sure if it was coming from driving cars or parked cars," he said.