Armed police formed a shield around medically trained officers to try and reach the victims of yesterday's triple shooting in Whangarei but they were unable to save them.

"Our AOS [Armed Offenders Squad] and police staff did everything they could despite knowing there was an active shooter in the immediate vicinity," said Northland District Commander Superintendent Russell Le Prou.

"AOS have still entered the property to see if there was any chance they could save Wendy and Natanya. AOS staff formed a shield around medically trained police staff but tragically there was nothing we could do.

"Given the danger posed to them they have then sought cover. They put their lives in danger yesterday and I am proud of the professionalism they showed in a volatile and changing situation. They are being offered welfare and are supporting one another."

Advertisement

Le Prou said are continuing to make enquiries today into the tragic fatal shootings at a property on Mt Tiger Rd, Whangarei yesterday morning.

Wendy Campbell and her daughter Natanya had gone the house with contractor Jeff Pike to inspect the property. Le Prou said a man opened fire on them.

"The women were sadly found deceased outside the property, the man had managed to escape and remains in Whangarei Hospital in a stable condition."

Le Prou said police have not yet located the body of the man police believe to be responsible so cannot confirm any further details.

Quinn Patterson, the owner of a house maintenance company, lived at the address.

Neighbours have described him as "a loner," "protective" of his property and say they often heard gunshots.

Le Prou said the women's bodies will be removed this afternoon and a post mortem examination done tomorrow.

The scene was guarded overnight by police staff and it will also be blessed today by a local kaumatua.

Advertisement

Le Prou said yesterday's violence has understandably sent shock waves through the community.

"The victims were just doing their job when the offender has suddenly turned on them.

"Today's focus will be on the scene examination, which will take many days. We also have a significant number of enquiries to make and people to speak with to understand how this tragedy came to be."

"It is too early to comment on specific details but we will provide further information as our investigation progresses."