A police officer stepped in to drive an ambulance last night as emergency workers tried desperately to save a

Police have named the man as 32-year-old Savey Kevin Sous from Upper Hutt.

Central Districts Commander Superintendent Sue Schwalger told a press conference outside the Whanganui Police Station today that the man was shot three times, in the torso and arm.

The dead man was of Cambodian descent but had lived in New Zealand for about 20 years.

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A neighbour on the Whanganui street said he saw a police officer driving the yellow St Johns ambulance from the scene with two ambulance officers, a police officer and the injured man in the back.

"I could see there were three people in the back and I assume because the police officer was driving that both ambulance officers were trying to stem the bleeding," neighbour Kevin Yorston told the Herald.

"I am assuming the third person was a police officer who would have been there to make sure nothing else untoward happened."

Police said they were called to the Mitchell St, Aramoho, property at around 7pm to attend a family harm incident.

A man came out of the house with a shotgun concealed under his jacket.

Police withdrew and set up cordons in the area. The armed offenders squad was called.

The man allegedly aimed a firearm at police, before he was shot by a member of the armed offenders squad.

He was rushed to the emergency department in a critical condition, but later died.

Neighbours near the grey bungalow said they received calls from police around 7pm telling them to stay indoors.

Yorston said there were at least seven police cars, a highway patrol car and an ambulance in attendance over two hours.

"I heard three retorts and then sounds like a car backfiring or gunshots," Yorston said.

The former police officer and prison officer said the street was normally very quiet.

He did not know the family who lived at the house but said he had spoken to the father, who was in his 50s, when the house was being painted.

There were also adult children living at the house.

Police and a security officer were still at the house this morning.