The dramatic moment shots were fired between police and a driver who led them on a high-speed chase in the Bay of Plenty have been captured on security camera.

The footage shows the offender firing at police and them returning fire - including blowing out the back window of a car the offender was stealing.

Dramatic footage obtained by the Herald shows the police chase and shootout in the Bay of Plenty this week.
Dramatic footage obtained by the Herald shows the police chase and shootout in the Bay of Plenty this week.

It also shows a tyre separating from another car the offender was driving as other dramatic moments unfolded in the small Bay of Plenty township of Te Teko.

A man was taken into custody after leading police on a chase through Kawerau and Te Teko on Wednesday. Photo / Andrew Warner
A man was taken into custody after leading police on a chase through Kawerau and Te Teko on Wednesday. Photo / Andrew Warner

The drama started at 11.25am on Wednesday when a man fled a Kawerau property in a vehicle while police were searching the place.

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A pursuit started and spikes were deployed but the driver continued on State Highway 34 towards Te Teko, 11km away.

Prem Gill, owner of Te Teko Superette and Lunch Bar which has six security cameras, released the footage and said it was the loud noise of the car driving on its rims that alerted people in the shop to the incident.

"There were no tyres left on the car.

"He stopped at the intersection of Te Teko Rd, jumped out and started shooting at the cops. At that stage, there was a car parked outside, one of the locals.

"He saw the car and went into it, police shot I think three rounds at him."

While trying to start the car, the footage shows the back window blowing out - a result of shots from police.

The driver can be seen in the video hoping into another car and leading police on another chase back to Kawerau. Photo / Andrew Warner
The driver can be seen in the video hoping into another car and leading police on another chase back to Kawerau. Photo / Andrew Warner

It was at this stage when the driver lost his gun. It was later seen to be picked up by police in the CCTV footage.

Gill said the driver then took off to Awakeri, but didn't get far before he came back towards Kawerau again.

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A witness in Kawerau, who wished not to be identified, said at the time, she and her workmates heard police sirens and when they went out to have a look they saw a vehicle come around the corner, through the car park and almost hit her car in Onslow St.

"He came speeding through, rammed a police car right in front of all our shops,'' she said.

"He nearly ran over elderly people, one man on a mobility scooter was in shock. I had to help him get back."

Police said officers forced the vehicle to a stop and the driver fled.

A 28-year-old man was later arrested and charged with dangerous driving, unlawful possession of a firearm, failing to stop, using a firearm against police, and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority is being notified because police firearms were discharged and the circumstances of the incident are being investigated.

Te Teko Superette and Lunch Bar owner Prem Gill. Photo / Andrew Warner
Te Teko Superette and Lunch Bar owner Prem Gill. Photo / Andrew Warner

Gill told the Rotorua Daily Post many people in the community were still scared.

"I think it was lucky that there was a car out there and a key in it. He might've come into the shop, and he had a gun. He could've held us all hostage, he could've done anything I think."

After owning the superette for almost four years, Gill was used to incidents happening - but it was not how he wanted the town to be.

"It is happening too much. Someone needs to do something about this.

"We have to control it, this is not a normal life. This doesn't happen often in places like Pāpāmoa for example."

Gill moved to New Zealand in 2002 and remembers vividly a shooting in Palmerston North soon after. He feels incidents such as those were scarce then, now they are in his backyard on a weekly basis.

"We have to look at this. If there is a problem, the government has to do something about it, at the root level."

Gill did not believe it was always patched gang members who were the problem. It was also young people and those on drugs.

Gill said those living in the area knew there was a big drug problem but believed there should be some solution.

"You can see people, just looking at them you can see they are not normal - they are on something. It is not nice and you see more young people like this as well.

"They come into the shop, a nice kid, but six months later he will come in and you can see it in his eyes. You can tell he is not the same person as he was six months ago."

He did not have the answer on what to do but it pained him to see what was happening in his community.