14 Sep 2010

Police hunt for 'violent' gunman in King Country

10:24 pm on 14 September 2010

Armed police hunting for a "violent" gunman in the King Country with a swastika tattoo on his face are warning the public not to approach him.

Te Rangi Trangmar, 24, has been on the run from police since Sunday night, when they say he attacked a neighbour in Otorohanga.

Police say he also threatened a young mother with a gun on Monday night, before attempting to rob a Waitomo hotel.

Western Waikato Area Commander Inspector Paul Carpenter told Checkpoint Trangmar's behaviour is "extremely irrational. He's very violent and he will use extreme force".

Inspector Carpenter says anyone helping Trangmar should think of the possible consequences and contact police.

He appealed for the man to give himself up and warned people to keep houses and cars locked.

Trangmar is described as Maori with a swastika tattoo on his left cheek.

About 25 officers are involved in the search, including the Armed Offenders Squad and the Auckland-based police Eagle helicopter. They have been stood down until Wednesday morning.