The man shot by police after he rampaged through a Papatoetoe street with a machete fought with his brother about a contentious family property back home in Fiji shortly before the deadly incident.

Hitesh Navin Lal, 43, moved to Auckland several years ago from Ba in Fiji.

But while he carved out a new life for himself here, he was reportedly troubled by what was happening at a property he owned back home.

Lal was shot dead by police in the early hours of Sunday after he stormed down Central Ave in Papatoetoe with a machete, damaging cars and property.

A man was shot dead early Monday morning after wielding a machete on Central Ave, Papatoetoe. Photo / Dean Purcell
A man was shot dead early Monday morning after wielding a machete on Central Ave, Papatoetoe. Photo / Dean Purcell

When police arrived he was trying to smash his way into a home where a couple and young children were inside, terrified.

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The Herald has learned Lal was only about 300m from his home when he was fatally shot.

It is understood he moved to Auckland in 2017.

Property records show he bought a property with a woman in New Windsor the same year.

The woman still owns the property but Lal's name no longer appears on the title. It is understood she is his ex-wife and the mother of his young daughter.

He was living on Central Ave with his current partner when he died.

The Herald has contacted her for comment.

Lal was the director of Sunrise Freight.

He is survived by his father who still lives in Fiji. His mother died some years ago.

The Fiji Sun newspaper visited Lal's family in the village of Yalalevu - but they were too distraught to speak about his death.

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A close relative, who wished to remain anonymous, said the news was "shocking".

Lal's family were "searching for answers as to how and why he was really shot".

Hitesh Lal. Photo / Facebook
Hitesh Lal. Photo / Facebook

Police are still investigating what drove Lal to leave his home with the weapon and wreak havoc on his street in the early hours of Sunday morning.

But his cousin Rajiv Raja has alluded to money problems and a potential disagreement over property.

Raja told the Indian Weekender that Lal owned a property in Ba.

Lal's half brother lived at the property and there were often disputes about the land.

Raja said Lal would become "upset" every time the property was mentioned.

Hours before his death Lal called his cousin and asked to have a drink.

Raja refused, citing the rules of the national Covid-19 lockdown and saying the pair should be "staying in our respective bubbles".

The scene at Central Ave, Papatoetoe where police shot a man dead early this morning. Photo / Dean Purcell
The scene at Central Ave, Papatoetoe where police shot a man dead early this morning. Photo / Dean Purcell

"What I know from what happened after that phone call is that Hitesh started drinking in
his house and had a heated argument with his half-brother again," he said.

"A little later, Hitesh got agitated and started smashing things inside the house.

"In a fit of rage, he picked a machete as well to which his partner living with him asked him to leave the house.

"Once outside the house, he started smashing the machete on to parked cars, windows and tried cutting the power lines as well."

Raja is yet to respond to the Herald.

He found out about the death of his "good companion" when he woke on Sunday
morning.

"I went to sleep and my mother woke me in the morning to say Hitesh was no more," he told the Indian Weekender.

As Lal smashed his way down the street with the weapon 13 people called 111 to report him.

Lal also called 111 himself.

He told police that he had a knife and would kill anyone he came across.

Just after 1pm the first officer available - a dog handler - arrived at the scene.

At the time Lal was trying to force his way into a home occupied by a family with small children.

The scene at Central Ave, Papatoetoe where police shot a man dead early this morning. Photo / Dean Purcell
The scene at Central Ave, Papatoetoe where police shot a man dead early this morning. Photo / Dean Purcell

A source said as the lone officer got out of his vehicle people were "screaming at him for help".

A source said Lal was aggressive and agitated.

The officer repeatedly told him to drop the machete and stop what he was doing, but he refused.

He kept advancing on the officer and was shot as a result.

"The officer did the only thing he could," said the source.

The man was given immediate medical assistance, and other officers who arrived shortly after had also tried to help, but the man had died.

It is unclear at this stage whether drugs or alcohol played a part in his actions.

Police are investigating the death - alongside parallel inquiries by the Coroner and the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

The recording of his 111 call is being reviewed by police and will be referred to the Coroner and IPCA.

It is also thought some residents captured the incident on camera.