Up to 10 shots were heard as a violent stand-off unfolded and a man was shot and killed by police officers last night in a Hamilton suburb.
The incident happened after officers were called to a property on O'Donoghue St, in Hillcrest, looking for a person in relation to a firearms matter.
Police confirmed that while they were there, officers were confronted by a man who arrived at the property and fired a number of shots from his vehicle.
He was then shot by police, Waikato District Commander Superintendent Bruce Bird said.
First aid was administered immediately, however the man died at the scene a short time later, Bird said.
No police officers were shot, but one fell and suffered injuries in the incident.
All ends of O'Donoghue St are currently cordoned off, with armed officers at each entry point.
Bird said police remain at the address this morning and a range of inquiries are underway, but police were not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.
"Our staff come to work every day to keep our communities safe and the decision to use a firearm is never done lightly."
A resident on Aurora St - which intersects with O'Donoghue - said he was woken by what seemed a flurry of shots.
"I heard that," he said when asked if he heard any shots being fired last night.
"I thought it was fireworks. All I heard was, maybe, nine rapid shots. that's what it seemed like because I was half asleep."
The man said he didn't hear the Eagle helicopter, only the shots which he said seemed to happen in two separate lots; about five or six first then the remainder a couple of seconds later.
Brennan Pl resident Mark Schroder said he heard about 10 shots.
He was watching television at the time and heard the shots, so he got up and went out his back door - which looks out to O'Donoghue- and then heard shouting.
He couldn't hear what was being said but just that it was people shouting.
"I heard the shots but that's all. I went out the back door to see if it was fireworks or shots but that's all I heard.
"I also heard some loud shouting but that was all. I didn't hear words."
A witness at the scene in the early hours of this morning told the Herald that several police in white overalls could be seen walking around what appeared to be a vehicle covered by a tarpaulin.
"Armed police have blocked off the bottom of O'Donoghue St and Hillcrest Rd.
"There were three officers in white overalls walking towards a tarp over a fence line. I think there's a vehicle under it."
About six police vehicles were at the site overnight, he said.
Residents report hearing police yelling
Last night, residents in the area described hearing a "large volley of gunfire" which at least one person likened to fireworks.
A woman named Coralie, who asked that her surname not be used, said among the red and blue lights, she could hear police officers yelling out instructions.
"Armed police, put the gun down! Put your hands out the window, anyone else in the vehicle put your hands out the window!"
Coralie said that was repeated multiple times before a final "they're not moving" and then silence.
Another resident said: "It sounded like they kept shooting but were firing blanks. It was very loud though."
Police are expected to give an update on the situation and the circumstances around the shooting this morning.
Less than a week after another police shooting
Last night's incident comes almost a week to the day a police officer was shot during a routine stop in Hamilton.
A 23-year-old man has since been arrested after the officer was shot in the shoulder and arm on Bankwood Rd late last Friday night.
The officer has since undergone surgery.
Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate said the incident was distressing for everyone involved, including residents and members of the local community.
"It's very disappointing. Nobody wants to see that kind of crime in their community. It's very unsettling."
Referring to last week's incident, Southgate said she was grateful to know that the injured police officer was now at home recovering.
She said she was very supportive of the police and the work they did in Hamilton and acknowledged that despite this being the second shooting involving police in less than a week, gun crime was not limited to their city.
"Gun crime has been on the rise globally and nationally.
"Unless the community and police work together, these kinds of crimes will happen again."
Southgate also wished to send her love to the family of the man involved in the incident.
"No one wants to lose a family member - no matter what the circumstances."
- additional reporting: Vaimoana Tapaleao