Fatal shooting in Piako terrifying for community - deputy mayor

6:59 am on 16 February 2024

Fatal shooting in Piako terrifying for community - deputy mayor

Police in Wellington. Generic image

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

A fatal standoff between a man and police was a horrible thing to happen to the community, the deputy mayor of Matamata-Piako says.

The incident began around 12.30pm on Thursday when officers attempted to stop a vehicle on Ulster Street in Hamilton.

He fled in a stolen vehicle and after crashing around 50km away went into a home where he threatened two parents and a child with a gun.

When officers arrived at the scene, the armed man was confronted and was shot and initially critically injured.

"Officers immediately provided medical attention, however he died a short time later," police said in a statement last night.

Matamata-Piako deputy mayor James Thomas said the incident was a traumatic time for the tight-knit rural community.

"[It's a] tragedy that someone has lost their life but a tragedy that someone was basically held hostage."

He said while the community would need support people were robust and would look after each other.

Thomas thanked the police for their swift action to protect the family and other people in the area.

The police say a greater presence can be expected in the area today as scene examinations take place.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority will be notified and a critical incident investigation is underway.