A Tauranga mother has been left badly shaken and disturbed after her two sons were riding their bikes across the road as a fleeing gunman exchanged a volley of shots with police in front of them.

A man was shot dead by police last night after he fired upon police when they tried to stop a vehicle as part of their investigation into Tuesday night's double homicide in Ormsby Lane, Omanawa.

A local mother who did not want to be named said her sons had been playing and riding around on their bikes across the road at Bethlehem Primary School.

She said the boys were riding home about 7.40pm when the shooting unfolded in front of them on Carmichael Rd, Bethlehem.

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She said one boy had told her that as the gunshots rang out he hid behind a parked car, while one son stood and watched the drama as it unfolded.

"It was all very scary and too close to home," she said.

She said she was putting her 6-year-old daughter to bed, and her husband was watching television when she heard a car coming up Carmichael Rd "very fast" and then lots of sirens.

"Knowing my boys were playing across the road, I was a bit panicky they might get hit while trying to cross the road," she said.

"We live right on the roundabout of Carmichael Rd and Bethlehem Rd, and my boys told me the chased driver then turned left down Bethlehem Rd before fleeing down another road and the police were chasing him."

She said she did not hear any gunshots herself so when her sons came home and told her they saw the man in the chased car with a gun and he was shooting at the police, she did not believe them.

One son also told her that the man being chased was driving "a very old car" and he was wearing dark sunglasses and dark-coloured hoodie, she said.

She said she later learned the man had indeed been shooting at police and the pursuit ended with the driver being shot dead.

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"It is really hard to put into words how I feel today but it's terrifying when something like this happens on your doorstep."

She said it had left her badly shaken and spooked.

"It's quite scary to think that one of my boys or someone else could easily have been mowed down by the fleeing driver or badly injured or killed by a wayward bullet."

Dropping her children off to school today was quite nerve-racking, and she had reassured her sons who were "freaked out" that the " bad man" had gone away.

"I keep thinking about how many other people were out there too and the bullets could have gone anywhere."

She said one of the other parents at the school was so shaken up they took the day off work.