James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Man accused of pointing firearm at neighbour

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A 69-year-old man is speaking to police after he allegedly fired shots and pointed a firearm at his neighbour near the Hauraki settlement of Puriri today.

Emergency services were alerted to reports of shots being fired at a Neavesville Valley property about 1.35pm, Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Martyn Hughes said.

"Initial reports were that a firearm was pointed by a man at a neighbour after that person went outside to investigate the noise of several shots."

Police, the Waikato armed offenders squad (AOS), a team of police negotiators and the Auckland-based Eagle helicopter all attended the scene, he said.

Mr Hughes said once the area was cordoned and contained, negotiators managed to speak to the man involved.

Police were now speaking to the man to establish what, if any, offences had been committed.

"Situations like today's are always fraught with risk and police have to consider the worse possible scenarios," Mr Hughes said.

A resident of Neavesville Rd in Puriri said police and the armed offenders squad pulled up in his neighbourhood early this afternoon.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said he was unsure of exactly what had happened.

"They pulled up at the neighbour's place and a couple of armed offenders squad ran up my cattle race.

"There was a helicopter circling up ahead, I went out to have a look and a swag of police cars pulled up."

He said there were at least seven police cars.

"It is out of the ordinary, I have never seen so many police cars in one place in all my life."

Road closures were put in place on State Highway 26, particularly at the intersection of SH26 (Paeroa-Kopu Rd) and SH25A earlier today.

Police had advised against any unnecessary travel between Paeroa and Thames due to a "major policing operation".

Mr Hughes said police supported the safe, lawful use of firearms, but asked all shooters to consider the environment they operated in and who may be affected by their shooting.

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- NZ Herald

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