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Witnesses have described the scene in Napier where a policeman was shot dead today.
One resident told nzherald.co.nz that she heard a series of gunshots followed by 10 minutes of silence and then another series of shots.
Caroline Wahtink said the shots "were quite close".
"I can't see the road from here but police are all over the place," Ms Wahtink said.
Wayne Rollinson told the Herald he and his son heard five shots go off in rapid succession.
"We were just inside our house having breakfast and we just heard five shots. Very rapid, and then nothing.
"We just looked at each other. We could tell that it was gun shots. It sounded like an automatic."
Mr Rollinson said that the street was filled with police cars and ambulance officers.
He could see members of the Armed Offenders Squad outside his house.
The shooting seemed to have occurred near an old hospital on Chaucer Road, he said.
Mr Rollinson said he had received a phone call from police telling residents to stay inside and stay away from windows.
Another witness who lives on the northern side of Napier Hill told NZPA it "sounded like World War 3".
Royal Tavern duty manager Dianne Durham said she was outside and heard "three quick shots".
They appeared to come from the Botanical Gardens about 500m away. Police told her to stay inside and not open the pub.
Warren, the manager of the nearby Hinepare Accommodation Centre, said he heard six or seven shots and police were telling residents to stay off the roof and keep away from windows as a man had a high powered rifle.
"There are officers everywhere, all their arms are drawn, and patrol cars everywhere. I didn't realise we had so many police in Napier."
He said they appeared to be apprehensive.
One witness told NZPA the incident was near a gang headquarters in Ahuriri however Warren dismissed that saying: "There are no gang houses around here."
- NZ HERALD STAFF, NEWSTALK ZB with NZPA