Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an NZME. News Service reporter

Armed police search for youth seen with firearm

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Armed police are still searching for a male youth in the Christchurch suburb of Avonhead after he reportedly pointed a firearm at another youth.

Bevington St in Avonhead was closed as members of the armed offenders squad surrounded the property, with sniffer dogs, at the scene along with several officers with semi-automatic rifles.

The cordon was lifted just before 2pm, although the Armed Offenders Squad and other armed officers were still searching inside and outside the house.

Sergeant Stephan McDaniel told APNZ at the scene: "A male youth has today presented what is believed to have been a firearm at another youth at a local store here.

"We're trying to establish whether it's some sort of imitation firearm or a BB gun or real firearm.

"At this stage we haven't been able to locate the firearm involved or the suspect.

"Avenues of inquiry suggested the suspect lives at this address but now he's not here we'll have to look somewhere else.

"We're concerned, otherwise the AOS wouldn't be here and the police wouldn't be armed.

"We're continuing to look through the address again and look for any other evidence to suggest it could be a firearm and continuing to look for the male.''

He said police are not linking this incident to the armed fallout at Burnside High school last Wednesday.

But he added all matters involving a suspected gun are treated "very seriously''.

He refused to say whether he was known to police.

A member of the public raised the alarm about 12.30pm.

Lyn Hilton, a receptionist at Ginger Meggs hairdressers just 70m from the house, said a young man moved into the property recently.

"Every time he walks past the salon he kicks our sign over. One day I went out and picked the sign up and he charged at me. He's a bit scary."

She said her customers had been told of the stand-off.

Resident Alex Kalinin came home to find he couldn't drive down his street.

"There's cops everywhere. People are saying he has a gun, it's not nice. It's not every day you come home to see your street filled with armed police."

Avonhead School was locked down after being contacted by police, saying a member of the public had spotted someone possibly with a gun in the Stavely Rd area.

Nearby properties were also being searched.

- APNZ

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