Neighbours heard "hysterical screaming" and gunshots and police have launched a homicide inquiry after a person was killed on an Auckland street early today.
Armed police are guarding cordons on Beatty St, Ōtāhuhu, and a gazebo is covering the person's body outside a house.
"We are speaking to witnesses and conducting a scene examination today. Beatty St remains cordoned off," Acting Detective Inspector Warrick Adkin, of the Counties Manukau CIB, said.
"Residents in the area can expect to see a continued police presence as we work to understand the circumstances and ensure the community's safety."
Police were called to the scene about 2.15am. One person received critical injuries and died at the scene, Adkin said.
"My family lives across from the house in question. They heard gunshots in the night, hysterical screaming and this morning there is a body on the lawn with a sheet over it," a NZ Herald reader said.
Si Allen, a resident in a nearby street, told a Herald photographer: "It was around 2am, I heard two loud bangs, then a third one. I tried to tell myself it was like a car backfiring like three times. My wife was quite adamant it was gunshots after the third shot.
"We heard screaming, for a good minute or so, then It kind of went quiet. Everything seemed to calm down."
Another Beatty St resident said he was about to go to bed and heard two gunshots at 2.10 am across the street.
It was too loud to be a car backfiring and was followed by yelling and screaming, said the man, who went outside and saw people trying to resuscitate a man.
About 15 minutes later, police and an ambulance arrived, he said.
The man believed the residents of the property had gang affiliations and moved in at the start of the year. He said a police officer told him it was a parole house.
He said there were regular incidents at the property involving fights and arguments, which were sometimes attended by the police.
"The whole street is family-oriented. Nothing ever happens here unless it comes from that house," the man said.
Another neighbour also believed the house has gang affiliations.
"I feel so safe in this street. It's one of the best streets in Ōtāhuhu, a lovely neighbourhood, but this is what happens when there are gangs," the woman said.
"There is a lot of domestic abuse at the house, loud verbal and physical abuse that sometimes spills onto the front lawn," she said.
The woman had been watching a movie and was ready to go to bed when she saw a police light and "thought that would be that house".
She had a restless sleep and at about 5am a policeman in high-vis gear knocked on her door and woke her dog up. In turn, she woke up to find a forensic team on her property and saw a black vehicle being towed away from the street.
A person at the scene this morning said there were two cordons at either end of the street, and another cordon inside that.
Five armed police officers were guarding parts of the scene and a specialist police search group had erected a gazebo.
A longtime resident of Beatty St, Rod Shaw, said police were focused on a house on the northern side of the street at the Baldwin St end.
"I have seen a detective car come down the street. It could be forensics," he said.
Shaw said he did not hear a thing during the night, saying as a resident of 49 years there had been few problems in the street.
The shooting comes amid a night of violence in Auckland.
Two people were taken to hospital with critical and serious injuries after two separate violent incidents overnight in the Auckland CBD.
A person was assaulted on Customs St West about 11.45pm, and taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Around 3.15am, police were called after a fight broke out on Wyndham St. There are unconfirmed reports of a person having their head stomped on.
"One person was taken to hospital with critical injuries. Police are following lines of inquiry," a police spokeswoman said.
Police said in March there had been a spike in violence in the central city - some provoked and some gang-related. Hotspots included the Viaduct, around Fort St and Karangahape Rd.
Inspector Scott Gemmell said at the time a lot of it was "fuelled by alcohol".