Tauranga residents are living in fear after this week's double homicide and a dramatic police shootout on a public street that left a man dead.
A local Carmichael Rd resident, said neighbours and herself are in fear and in lockdown, and are worried about their mokopuna and the local schools in the area of this problem was to continue.
"Something needs to be done. It's scary. Now we are wary of people."
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 on them when they tried to stop a vehicle as part of their investigation into Tuesday night's double homicide in Ormsby Lane, Omanawa.
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The mother who did not want to be named said her sons had been riding around on their bikes across the road and were returning home about 7.40pm when the shooting unfolded in front of them on Carmichael Rd in Bethlehem.
She said one of her sons told her that he had hid behind a parked car as the gunshots rang out, while his brother stood and watched the drama unfolded.
"It was all very scary and too close to home," she said.
She said she was inside trying to put 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 at Bethlehem Primary school, 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 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 car with a gun and he was shooting at the police, she did not believe them at first.
Her son also told her that the man being chased was driving "a very old car" and was wearing dark sunglasses and dark-coloured hoodie, she said. She said she later learned the man had indeed been shooting at police and had been shot dead.
Dropping her children off to school today (Friday) was quite nerve-racking, and she had reassured her sons that the "bad man" had gone away, she said. It has left her badly shaken and spooked.
"I have thought about how many other people were out there too. It's quite scary to think that one of my boys or someone else could easily have been killed by a wayward bullet. Or they could have been mowed down by the fleeing driver.
"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 one of the other parents at the school was so shaken up they have decided to take the day off work.
Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said he was "very concerned" about an innocent member of the public becoming collateral damage in the gang turf wars.
He said while police were doing a "stunning" job in difficult conditions, shots were fired in a public area last night.
"The weapons that are being used have a maximum effective range of 500 to 600m ... a bullet that's got long range and can do a lot of damage."
He said the people carrying the weapons "certainly don't care what's in their background".
"I'm worried a stray bullet will kill someone in the crossfire."
Powell said a community meeting would be held with himself, Western Bay of Plenty mayor Garry Webber and two police commanders in the coming weeks to talk about what was going on.
A date is yet to be confirmed.
Bethlehem's Bob Owens Retirement Village spokesman David King said a number of residents heard shots fired and a commotion last night.
King said there was no damage that they could see and police had collected the cartridges from the road, which was blocked off.
Meanwhile, Police Minister Stuart Nash said the recent gun violence in Tauranga highlighted the need for tougher restrictions on guns.
"People who supply guns to criminals need to be held accountable and we need to be able to better track firearms through the community with a gun register.
"I want to know who sold these guns to gang members. How did they get hold of them? Whether they were sold on the black market or stolen because of poor storage practices, people need to be held accountable."
He called for MPs to back the second phase of gun reforms in parliament next week, which would increase penalties for those who supply guns to gangs.
"[Bridges] is trying to block these changes but I urge him to change his position," Nash said.
"It will prevent gang members ever getting a firearms licence.
"It will give police more powers to take the guns off the gangs, and other firearms offenders.
"What's happening in Hawke's Bay and Tauranga is happening all around the country.
"Since March last year police have seized more than 2000 illegal firearms from gangs and other criminals."
It was not only those with "patches" involved in such crime, Nash said.
"Let's not kid ourselves it's only people wearing patches who are driving this.
"Recent meth busts have involved the arrest of business professionals like lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, sports stars, media personalities, as well as foreign nationals from the UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Philippines, Italy. Their money laundering and other activity enables gang offending."
The Government had been "pouring" more resources into policing in Bay of Plenty, and around the country, with a special focus on gangs and organised crime, Nash said.
This included 91 extra full-time officers in Bay of plenty, and a special Gang Focus Unit in Hawke's Bay.