A Head Hunter pulled a loaded pistol on two young men after slashing them with a knife in an unprovoked attack in downtown Tauranga.
Kalwyn George Kershaw left the fracas in the carpark on Hamilton St in a taxi but was quickly caught by the police.
Only after Kershaw was arrested did an eagle-eyed camera operator spot the silver revolver in gang member's hand while watching the security footage.
Police urgently tracked down the taxi and found Kershaw's pistol hidden under the driver's seat - loaded and cocked.
"We're extremely lucky we're not dealing with two deaths," said Detective Sergeant Darryl Brazier.
"He had no idea where he stabbed them it easily could have been fatal for both of them."
Brazier believed Kershaw considered shooting at the police when he was caught, before deciding to hide the gun under the taxi driver's seat.
"It was ready to fire. The police stopped the taxi and I'm suggesting that's when he cocked the pistol," said Brazier.
"He's not going to have it cocked in his pocket because of the obvious danger [of shooting himself]."
Kershaw, 35, pleaded guilty to five charges from the stabbing in May this year, including assault with intent to injure, possession of methamphetamine and unlawfully carrying a firearm.
The melee in Tauranga happened just three weeks after being released from prison on release conditions.
Kershaw also pleaded guilty to assaulting two prison officers.
Yesterday, in Tauranga District Court, he was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison and now has more than 100 convictions on his criminal record.
"This is a pretty substantial record, 13 pages," said Judge Thomas Ingram.
"That this happened within three weeks of being released with prison says a lot about you and the way you behave. You have been lawless for many years."
Kershaw, from Auckland, had been drinking with other Head Hunters in Flow Bar on Hamilton St where he got into a confrontation with members of the rival Greazy Dogs gang.
He left the bar and walked through the carpark before inciting an altercation with the two young men shortly after midnight on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
"This man is a very angry man. He was there to intimidate and hurt someone. It didn't matter who," said Brazier.
The security camera footage shows Kershaw, with the backing of other Head Hunters, walk straight into one of the two victims.
When they push back, Kershaw pulled out a knife. He slashed one of the victims in the face, then stabbed the other in the arm.
It was at this point Kershaw drew the pistol and pointed it at the two young men, before leaving in the taxi.
The court was told Kershaw believed they were linked to a rival gang and the assault was "one big mistake".
The two victims had no gang connections, Brazier said.
"These are good young guys just out to meet their friends and have fun," said Brazier
"[Kershaw] only did this knowing he had the support of other gang members around him. Which is usual. If he was by himself he probably never would have done it."
Brazier, who spent years investigating organised crime in Auckland before moving to Tauranga, said there was a noticeable increase in gang members at certain bars in the city.
"We're concerned about people like him out on the street carrying firearms. It's a real concern that more people are going to be hurt.
"These guys thrive on intimidation. And that's what they do."
Members of a number of different gangs - including Australian groups like the Comancheros - regularly visit the Bay of Plenty while others, like the Head Hunters, have established chapters here.
The increase in gang activity led to the police setting up a team from the National Organised Crime Group in Tauranga earlier this year.