• Two police officers were shot at after a routine traffic stop. One has died.
• An innocent bystander has told of his wife's heroics after he was caught up in the shooting.
• Slain officer named as Constable Matthew Hunt.
• A 24-year-old man will appear in court today charged with murder.
• Police are at the scene this morning where flowers have been laid.
• A witness has told of his tears over not being able to help.
It started as a routine traffic stop. Two West Auckland police officers chanced upon a car that was flagged as being of interest, connected to potential criminal activity.
They turned on their lights, their sirens and signalled for the car to pull over.
That was at 10.28am.
Minutes later, one of the officers was dead in the street and the other was wounded.
When the driver of the car spotted the police he put his foot down.
The officers lost him, but soon found the car crashed on Reynella Drive, off Triangle Rd, one of the main arterial routes in Massey.
The officers left their patrol car and approached the crashed vehicle.
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A man got out, armed with a long-barrelled firearm.
He pointed it at the officers and fired repeatedly.
They were both hit and wounded.
A member of the public who was filling his car boot in preparation for a trip to Rotorua, was injured. He told Stuff something hit him from behind, causing the boot to hit his head. His son, 12, was sitting in the backseat, while his 2-year-old daughter stood on the footpath.
"I got knocked out, like my eyes closed and I couldn't hear anything. I was just lying down on the ground. The next minute, when I woke up, I was holding my head and I saw it was bleeding."
The man told Stuff he called out to his wife who tried to cover him and dragged him to the driveway, where he stayed until help came. His son managed to get his younger sister to the house.
"He was shooting towards my house," he told Stuff.
"He shot three shots and he was coming towards me. My wife covered me and was dragging me to the house."
The man suffered multiple back and rib fractures and has seven stitches to his head.
Afterwards, the pair from the car got into a silver Mazda Demio nearby and they took off.
The pair abandoned that car soon after and managed to get away.
Meanwhile the officers — both of them men — were lying seriously injured in the street.
The Weekend Herald understands one of them was calling for help and could be heard yelling that he had been shot and was bleeding.
As word of the shooting spread, residents on Reynella Drive spoke of "loud bangs" out on the road and the frightening events that followed.
"At first I thought it was construction, which is pretty common here," said Mark, who was hanging out his washing at the time.
"But then I heard it again, after a distinct pause, and thought, 'That sounds like a gunshot'."
Elaine Taniela said her father's friend drove past at the time and described the scene.
"As he neared the first roundabout [near Gallony Ave] he saw a cop on the ground," she said.
"He said it looked like he was having a seizure. He was shaking."
Another police officer was on his radio, hunched over and holding part of his body.
Mark went to check out the back of his property, where he got a shock to see a police officer crouching in his neighbour's backyard.
"He dropped to the ground and was looking around a bit, clutching his chest. Then he jumped over the fence and ran off up the street," he recalled. "Since then it has just been chaos."
As emergency services converged on Reynella Drive, eight schools in Massey locked down, including Massey High and Don Buck Primary, and armed police guarded local stations.
The police Eagle helicopter arrived within minutes.
Armed officers, first from West Auckland then further into the Waitematā District and later, from across the entire city, armed up and took to the streets.
A manhunt fanned out across West Auckland and streets were cordoned.
On social media, residents reported armed police checking cars one at a time, asking occupants to wind their windows down.
It seemed that on every street there were red and blue flashing lights, serious-looking officers manning corners and cordons with their fingers ready on the triggers of Bushmaster rifles.
Waitematā District Commander Naila Hassan left her office at headquarters in Mairangi Bay and went to Henderson.
There she was met by Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement, who happened to be in Auckland.
In Wellington, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster was briefed.
He booked a flight to Auckland immediately, holding a press conference at the airport before he boarded to confirm that one of his number was no longer alive.
At 1.45pm Coster was tasked with delivering the news of the first police officer killed on the front line in 11 years.
The last time New Zealand had a police fatality was in 2009 when Jan Molenaar shot Senior Constable Len Snee in Napier.
"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm that one of our colleagues injured in the incident in Massey today has died," the recently-appointed police boss started.
"This is devastating news and absolutely the worst thing for us to deal with.
"We have lost a colleague and friend in our police whānau.
"Our thoughts are with the officer's family and loved ones, and with the other officer and member of the public who were injured in the same incident and their loved ones."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the daughter of a police officer, said it was "devastating news".
"To lose a police officer is to lose someone working for all of us, but also a family member, someone's loved one and friend."
Police Association President Chris Cahill also spoke out.
"We all know being a police officer is a risky job, but officers live with the expectation that they will go home at the end of their shift," he said.
"Their families live with that expectation too, and they have every right to see their loved ones home safely."
Cahill said the killing demonstrated risks to officers in "everyday routine policing", and "highlights the dangers of the proliferation of firearms in the hands of criminals".
"It is an absolute tragedy that the very people who run towards danger to keep us all safe, can end up paying the ultimate price in the line of duty," Cahill said.
In the hours that followed, officers stopped vehicles and an AOS team stormed a house on Rena Place in West Harbour.
On the Northwestern Motorway, a car was pursued and police used road spikes to stop it on the Lincoln Rd overbridge.
The black sedan's tyres were torn to shreds, its driver arrested.
Coster arrived in Auckland in the early evening and made his second public statement at 5.30pm.
Visibly upset at times and standing beside Hassan, Coster gave further details about the slaying and wounding of his staff.
He revealed two people were being spoken to by police but would not be drawn at all on who they were — nor their associations, including whether they were gang members or prospects.
He said the top priority for police was to support the family of the dead officer and the injured people and their loved ones.
"This is absolutely devastating. The entire police family is in mourning and shock," he said. "I ask that you keep this officer's family in your thoughts, as their loved one will not be coming home tonight."
Further details of the dead officer and his colleague, including how long they have been in police, their age and rank, are expected to be released today.
The other officer and the injured bystander were yesterday in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
Late last night, police said a 24-year-old man had been charged with murder, attempted murder and dangerous driving causing injury.
He will appear in the Waitākere District Court today.
Police would not rule out the possibility of other people being charged.
Tributes at the scene
This morning, armed officers are at the scene talking among themselves and a couple of large blue Specialist Search Group tents have been erected at different parts of the west Auckland road.
The corner of Reynella Drive, near the Reynella Reserve, has been blocked off to the public, with a large and bright alert sign flashing "road closed", "police operation" and "no entry" at the roundabout with Gallony Ave.
Birds starting to chirp and the roar of the nearby Western Motorway are all that can be heard at dawn this cool winter morning.
Bunches of flowers, a ruler and handwritten messages have also been left on the corner of Reynella Drive and Gallony Ave - as close to the scene of the shooting as the public is allowed.
A man in hi-vis working at the cordon on the top end of Reynella Drive, near Hewlett Rd, has been at the scene all night and said everything had been quiet, with only a few cars coming through.
Police and residents who lived inside the cordon were the only ones allowed past the cordon, he said.
Along with several bunches of flowers placed at the cordon, a letter written in red pen on a piece of paper has been left by a family who paid tribute to Constable Matthew Hunt, who was named this morning as the slain officer.
The letter reads:
"To the family of the officer
I give my respect & condolence to the police force and thank you for keeping us safe.
Our condolences go to the family and colleagues of the officer. This outcome should never be a result of a career that keeps people safe.
From Jamal, Mohammed, mum & dad."
Another woman who dropped off flowers at the edge of the cordon this morning said she was paying her respects to the officer who died.
She did not want to be named but told a reporter her child was in the police force and was a colleague of the officer shot. "It could have been them," she said, visibly upset.
Zoe McKeown, 23, lives nearby and came to the cordon to pay her respects, laying flowers down at the scene.
"He didn't deserve that," she said. "No one deserves that."
Living over the hill on nearby Rehia Rd, McKeown said she was at home yesterday morning at the time of the shooting but didn't hear anything. She did hear the Eagle Helicopter after it arrived a short time later.
Meanwhile, her partner who worked in Albany opposite the local police station told McKeown he "thought a bomb had gone off" around the time of the shooting yesterday morning.
Within minutes, around 30 police cars flooded out of the station and onto the road, McKeown's partner told her she said.
Two police officers visited the scene this morning to lay flowers for their colleague.
Pulling over their patrol car briefly, the male and female officers presented the flowers at the cordon and saluted before leaving.
'A sad day'
A witness has described harrowing scenes of running out his house with a first aid kit to try and help the officer.
Stuart, who didn't want to give his last name, lives just down the road from the scene on Reynella Drive and saw the officer lying on the ground. He said the experience "wasn't nice".
"It was a pretty sad day, that turned to anger late in the day," he said. "Some guy has gone to do his job and someone decided he had other plans, it's not nice."
Before he could get to the officeranother police patrol car arrived on scene and things escalated from there within minutes of the shooting.
The officers of the second police car made sure there were no offenders in the area before trying to help the officer who was shot. Everything was "full on" after that, Stuart said.
There weren't many other residents around at the time Stuart said.
A female officer later took a statement from him about what he heard and saw.
Stuart's father is a retired police man so the shooting really hit home for him.
"It was just crazy," he said. "It was a sad day, a sad day."
A woman who was at home with her husband on Gallony Ave said they thought the gunshots were fireworks and didn't think much more of it until police cars started arriving.
"That's when we went out and had a look down the road but we didn't see anything," she said.
"It's really shocking - I'm thinking about the police officer and his family. It's a really quiet neighbourhood."
Another woman, who lived on Reynella Drive, also heard the gunshots and said it was pretty scary.
Sometimes cars drive very quickly up and down Reynella Drive but otherwise, the shooting was completely out of the blue and random.
Police sources around Auckland and the country were reeling when spoken to by the Weekend Herald.
"This is the worst nightmare — it's just like, f*** ... " said one.
"This will be the first plaque on the [remembrance] wall since 2009," a second source said.
"I feel sick, I feel shattered ... someone came to work today to save the lives of others and they are going home in a box."
The source said it was commonplace to encounter offenders with firearms — that was just the modern environment police worked in.
Following the Christchurch mosque shooting, gun laws were strengthened to restrict semi-automatic firearms and magazines.
As part of that, police ran a buy-back scheme in a bid to get as many high-powered weapons off the street as possible.
"We thought, despite an increase in firearms on the streets, we were holding our own ... but we knew it was volatile," said the second source.
"We took 60,000 guns off the streets in the buy-back and then to have the first death in 11 years — a police officer gunned down, gunned down and slaughtered ... it's absolutely awful."
Police Minister Stuart Nash said he was "heartbroken" for the family and colleagues of the officer who died.
"We want all our police officers to get home safely at the end of every working day," he said. "This is a tragic day for our police family."