The wife of a police officer who was one of the first responders to the Northland shooting last Wednesday waited six hours to hear her husband was okay as he ran into the gunman's home to try save the two victims.

The Whangarei mother-of-two shared her letter about the bravery of the police officers and the angst their families constantly faced via The Mother Hood Facebook page after reading posts on social media criticising police officers for not doing enough.

Her husband was among the officers who arrived at Quinn Patterson's rental property on Mt Tiger Rd in rural Whangarei after he shot dead property manager Wendy Campbell and her daughter Natanya on Wednesday.

One of the mums in our community has asked me to share this letter on her behalf. #voiceofmums *An open letter to the...

Posted by The Mother Hood on Friday, 28 July 2017

"Today my husband braved an unpredictable gunman. Along with his colleagues, they were the first responders who ran in to attempt life-saving support for two beautiful women, all the while very aware they were being watched and most likely about to be targeted themselves; a situation that would have most people in flight mode. Tragically those ladies never made it home to their loved ones despite EVERY effort and determination on behalf of our emergency services," the post said.

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The Armed Offenders Squad at the Whangarei property where two woman were killed. Photo / Northern Advocate
The Armed Offenders Squad at the Whangarei property where two woman were killed. Photo / Northern Advocate

The woman, who the Herald agreed not to name to protect her husband, said he would have already been at the job for about two hours before a friend sent her a link to the online news reports.

"When I heard about it, I definitely knew it was him. I didn't know he would be one of the very first that was there but he was."

She had trouble concentrating for the rest of her working day and was constantly checking online for updates.

"I was okay until there were two confirmed dead. Then I started to really panic. Because I knew it was obviously an extremely bad situation. You can't do anything really - you just have to sit and wait.

"And that's why I was getting so angry at people commenting negatively because everyone forgets that there are families waiting at home to hear about these guys - they are just normal guys as well. I think people actually forget they are human too and they have families waiting."

When the 6pm news came on she still hadn't heard from him. She sat her three and four-year-old down in front of the TV and showed them a picture of their father in full and AOS gear and said that's why he wasn't home.

"We freeze framed the TV and I said look there's dad and pointed him out ... I could tell by the way he was walking so I could point out who he was. They obviously couldn't tell - it was just good to give them that picture that dad's not here but that's physically where he is. They know that the police car is dad's car - just in terms that are relative for their age."

Her husband was due to be home at 3pm or 4pm, but the first she heard from him was when he sent a text message about 7pm when he arrived back at the police station.

The Armed Offenders Squad at the Whangarei property where two woman were killed. Photo / Northern Advocate
The Armed Offenders Squad at the Whangarei property where two woman were killed. Photo / Northern Advocate

"You just don't often hear from families or police wives in particular. You don't hear our view. And the police get slagged off quite a bit and they can't defend themselves, they don't have the chance to sit down and tell you all the gory details."

Her hero finally arrived home at 9pm and went to bed. She lay next to him listening to him snoring, but was unable to sleep.

After a few restless hours, she got up and started writing. The negative posts criticising the police had got under her skin.

"It was never really intended to be a public post initially. It's just what I find therapeutic for me really - it was just after hours and hours of worry and my husband finally arrived home and he went to bed and I was just lying awake fuming about it. So I just got out a pen and started writing and it's just how I deal with things.

"You just don't often hear from families or police wives in particular. You don't hear our view. And the police get slagged off quite a bit and they can't defend themselves, they don't have the chance to sit down and tell you all the gory details."

While her husband had been on numerous call-outs before, this had been the worst.

"This is probably the biggest job, he's in the police for five years now and AOS for at least two, but this is probably the biggest. This has been the scariest for me.

"Now that we have children it doesn't (get any easier) ... now we have little ones there's a lot more to think about. It just adds another level to it."