Police still searching for man who sparked armed cordon in Napier

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Police have closed off a section of Onekawa bordering William Colenso College in Napier after a possible armed threat incident. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN.
Police have closed off a section of Onekawa bordering William Colenso College in Napier after a possible armed threat incident. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN.

Police are still searching for a man who sparked an armed cordon in Onekawa earlier today.

The cordon around a section of Onekawa was lifted just after 11.15am after police teams stormed a house where they believed an incident may have happened only to find there was no one inside.

Details about what sparked the call-out around 9.10am are beginning to emerge.

Napier Police, with the assistance of the Armed Offenders Squad were searching for a man -potentially armed - who was involved in a domestic dispute at a Kelvin Place address.

In a statement police said the incident involved two people who knew each other.

Armed police began moving into the area of Henry Charles Cres and took up positions around the house at the centre of the call-out.

One nearby resident said she went outside about 9.15am and saw police crouching behind fences and hedges with rifles.

"I was told to go back inside and stay there," she said.

The woman said the house involved was the residence of a woman who was away and she believed some of her grandchildren, aged in their late teens and early 20s, had been coming and going.

Roadblocks had been set up on Riverbend Rd between Kennedy Rd and Latham St and William Colenso College was placed in lock down for two hours.

That had since been lifted.

This afternoon police said they had completed all inquiries at known addresses and the surrounding areas and had not been able to locate the offender at this time but will continue to look for him.

Earlier a resident nearby told Hawke's Bay Today the police arrived "silently" and without a fuss.

He had seen armed officers walking into the closed off area looking in properties.

Police were also checking boots of vehicles of residents who live within the closed off zone and were driving out.

A status posted on the school's facebook page earlier this morning stated they were currently in lockdown.

"We are currently in a lockdown situation, we are working closely with the police," it read.

"All students and staff are safely locked in at school. Please do not come into school until further notice. We will keep you informed. Further information can be found at the Eastern District Police Facebook site."

The college had been in lockdown since 9am following police instruction said principal Daniel Murfitt.

The college went straight into lockdown procedure, with teachers locking their classrooms and advising students to stay away from the windows.

"They key for us is communicating with home so that's why it's on Facebook to let parents know it's under control here."

Police said they would like to thank members of the public for their patience while streets in the area were closed. The nearby schools were back to business as usual and all the cordons have been lifted.

They reassureed the community their safety was not at risk.

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