A woman living near a property where five people were injured in a gang-related shooting heard glass smash and a man yelling 'help me, help me' at her back door prompting her to ring 111.
Police were called to Clark Rd, in Kamo, Whangarei about 10.30pm on Wednesday after five people were injured following a shooting involving the Black Power and Nomad gangs, Whangarei Area Commander Inspector Justin Rogers said.
Three men, aged 21, 24 and 33, were in a stable condition as of yesterday and a 33-year-old man was likely to be discharged.
A fifth person was flown to Auckland and remains in hospital in a serious condition.
Mr Rogers said the 21-year-old man who was admitted to Whangarei Hospital has been arrested. He said 19 investigators were working on the case.
"We are confident that it's not a random incident and persons involved have links to gangs. I'd just like to reassure the members of the community while incidents of this nature can be very unsettling we'd like people to go about their normal daily business and if they have any concerns they will make sure they call police," he said.
Mr Rogers said there had been an increased police presence at Whangarei Hospital and in the Kamo area since the incident, and that presence will continue throughout the investigation.
Alison Howell lives nearby the Clark Rd property and heard "pop, pop, pop", glass smashing and a man calling for help the night of the shooting.
"I didn't know they were shots though. He tried to come in my back door and I haven't been here for very long but apparently on my back door, on the security door there is a mirror.
"He smashed that, the door just broke. That's when I thought 'oh my goodness, the window' and that's when I heard him calling out 'help me help me' as he came up my path. He couldn't see in but I knew he was outside my window," she said.
Ms Howell said she was too scared to look outside so she called 111 immediately.
One Clark Rd resident said he heard a commotion but didn't think much of it as it was not uncommon to hear noise coming from the property where the shooting occurred.
Miroslav Granich, a Clark Rd resident, was not home the night of the shooting but said with the exception of that house, the neighbourhood was usually quiet.
"These are all people who have been living here their whole lives except for the rental ... they're coming and going all through the night, 2am, 3am in the morning," he said.
Police had cordoned off a house at 53 Clark Rd and the driveway of the neighbouring 55. Houses down a driveway on Kamo Rd were also cordoned off but Mr Rogers would not say why other than it was part of the investigation.
He said he was not sure how many firearms were involved or what kind.
The shooting is the latest violent gang related crime in Northland after four gang members were killed last year, allegedly by other gang members.
When asked if the gang situation was out of control in Northland, Mr Rogers said he didn't believe the region was "any different to any other place in New Zealand".
"I think whilst we have incidents of this nature we are committed to dealing with them quickly and efficiently and as I've said we've got 19 investigators investigating this incident and I don't believe Northland's any different to any other part of New Zealand."
John Henry Harris, known as John Boy, died after being shot in the chest, north of Whangarei in October last year. The 37-year-old was a patched member of the Tribesman Motorcycle Club.
Two weeks before that shooting 25-year-old Moses Noor Mahanga, a member of the Head Hunters gang, was fatally shot in Otangarei.
Other gang-related homicides last year include the death of Tribesmen member Kimble Moore in Kaitaia. His body was found six months after he was reported missing.
The first homicide investigation of 2016 began on New Year's Day, after the death of Kaitaia man Lee Rata in hospital. Four Mongrel Mob associates were charged with his murder.
If anyone has any information about the Clark Rd shooting they can contact Whangarei police on 09 430 4500 or anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.