17 Mar 2023

'An inexcusable act of violence' - Man dies after being shot by police

8:29 pm on 17 March 2023
Police at the scene in Henderson today.

Police at the scene in Henderson today. Photo: RNZ / Finn Blackwell

A man who was shot by police after an "inexcusable act of violence" has died in hospital, Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan has confirmed.

Police said early this evening that the man had undergone surgery, but died at Auckland Hospital this afternoon.

Hassan spoke to media this afternoon after the man was shot by police earlier on Friday. Watch the media conference here:

Hassan said the man, in his mid-20s, approached a cash in transit van at a petrol station on Henderson Valley Road at about 10am Friday and fired his weapon. Nobody was injured, and the man fled the scene.

He then returned a few minutes later and a firearm was pointed at a police officer, Hassan said.

The man fled, firing at police as they pursued him.

"He was seen acting erratically and firing on multiple occasions at police staff. The offender has done this with absolutely zero regard for the safety of the public or the police staff."

District Commander Naila Hassan

Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan Photo: RNZ / Finn Blackwell

The man fired at police on at least seven occasions, Hassan said, and he may have also fired at members of the public.

The offender drove to the Henderson Police Station, which was immediately locked down.

"The man exited his vehicle holding a firearm" at the police station, she said.

He was warned to drop his weapon but continued brandishing it, ignoring warnings, and was shot.

"What unfolded today was an inexcusable act of violence towards police staff and members of the public," Hassan said.

"It is incredibly fortunate that no police officers or members of the public have suffered serious injuries."

One police officer suffered minor injuries taking evasive action.

Hassan said the offender is known to police and is on active charges relating to drugs and violence. She said his behaviour was extremely unpredictable.

A number of crime scenes are being looked at around West Auckland in connection with the case.

"Gun crime is definitely out there across New Zealand," Hassan said, but expressed confidence that police were working to stamp it out.

Hassan said Friday's incident incident brough back grim memories for many police and locals after the killing of Constable Matt Hunt, who died during a police incident in West Auckland in 2020.

"I've spoken to those officers involved [in today's incident], they're doing okay," Hassan said.

There are now several investigations underway. The Independent Police Conduct Authority has also been notified as part of standard practice.

Hassan said they will be doing additional patrols in the area.

Police association president Chris Cahill said officers involved today will be severly affected for the rest of their lives, by the fact that they've had to take the action they did.

Cahill said the evidence to date suggests this was an aggresive offender who left officers with no real options, and it was a difficult situation for officers and that person's whanau.

Police in Henderson after shooting

An officer on duty in the area. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi