A Rotorua teenager and her cousin have been left scared after a man approached them, revealing what they believed to be a gun under his shirt.
Now her mother wants other parents to be aware of potential dangers on the city's streets.
The incident happened last night in Glenholme when Emily Kouka-White, 14, and her cousin were walking to a nearby supermarket.
The pair were near an alley that joins Clinkard Ave and Mahoe St when they noticed a man following them.
"I thought he was staring at me, and I didn't like it," Emily said.
"I told my cousin that I didn't feel comfortable and that I thought he was following us."
Emily said she felt threatened by the man, who kept yelling "what's up" at them and "pretending to be gangster".
"It was scary," she said.
"We saw he was fiddling around with his waistband and then my cousin told me that he had seen a gun."
The two kept walking until the man stopped following - they didn't want him to know where they lived.
Emily was not keen to go out again without an adult.
Her mother Renee White said it was a scary experience.
"My natural instinct kicked in, and I went into protective mode," Miss White said.
"I jumped in the car and just went straight out looking for him, he had just disappeared."
The police were called and Miss White said they were there within five to 10 minutes.
"They were really good and they commended the kids for how they behaved," she said.
"They had made a point to take note of what he was wearing, they were cool and calm."
Miss White's eldest daughter Arihana White-Ututaonga was the victim of a brutal assault that left her legally blind three years ago.
The family spent five months homeless this year after their rental property was sold and Miss White said she had felt safe again with a roof over their head.
"It's safe here. The neighbours keep an eye on the house when we're out.
"I've never really been one to just let them go out, as a mother who has one hurt child, I'm cautious," she said.
"They were only going to New World. All they wanted was a bag of lollies to share."
Miss White said her children were schooled on safety and knew the rules.
"They're responsible, they're not naughty kids."
Miss White was able to use a neighbour's security camera to get a photograph of the man and posted it to Facebook.
"I did it so that other parents would know," she said.
"As parents we need to be prepared for what's out there."
Miss White was proud of how the children had acted.
"I just urge others to report these things to police," she said.
"It's an awesome street and an awesome community, you just never know what people are capable of."
Tanya Clover and her husband installed a security camera on their Mahoe St property at the end of January.
"I love this area, but we still get idiots," Mrs Clover said.
She said she checked the video every morning when she got up.
"It is worth it. I feel safe here, but we have to keep an eye out for anyone that wants to make trouble."
Senior Sergeant Steve Shaw said yesterday police had not found anybody in relation to the incident.
"We are still confirming the circumstances around that event," he said.
Anyone with information should contact Rotorua police on (07) 349 9400, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.