An innocent man with a sore back lying in the rear of a car had guns pointed at him on the main street of Morrinsville today as police hunt an armed gunman.
Video has emerged of armed police in the Waikato town's Thames St, as shocked locals enjoyed their lunch.
Police said it was a cautionary measure as they hunt Rollie James Heke, wanted after shooting at police officers in the town on Sunday.
The video shows a handful of police officers on the street, outside the Noel Leeming store. One crouches behind the door of a patrol car, while pointing his handgun at a dark-coloured car parked in front of him.
Another officer is seen to the right, pointing his handgun at the car and slowly walking towards it. He then pulls a man from the car, handcuffs him and leads him towards the waiting police car.
Yet another officer, holding a gun, is seen speaking to a member of the public.
A police spokeswoman told the Herald police stopped the vehicle after they saw someone lying in the back.
"Because of the situation in Morrinsville at the moment", she said, police took cautionary measures. They searched the car and learned the person was lying down because he had a sore back.
No arrests were made.
Morrinsville resident Bradley Mace said he was driving down Thames St when he drove past a police car.
"He turned his sirens on and did a U-turn right behind me and one car in front pulled over to the left and then he was turning around to get the next car in front of that, which was that black car.
"I got out of the car... they drew their guns and asked the occupant to get out and get on the ground.
"He was a young guy, he looked to be about 20-years-old, if that."
Police are still seeking Heke, 36, who led police on a chase in Morrinsville on Sunday morning.
Officers were forced to flee after they pulled over the car he was driving and he shot at them. They ran to surrounding paddocks. Their patrol vehicles were riddled with bullet holes.
Two people were taken into custody on Sunday but police said Heke escaped on foot.
Last night, they surrounded a Morrinsville house and called for him to come out. But despite a search of the house and a neighbouring property, there was no sign of Heke.
Police said the search would resume today and appealed for the public's help.
Police said Heke was actively avoiding them and was known to have links to Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga. He had several existing warrants to arrest for methamphetamine-related offences and breaching bail conditions.
Heke featured on the television show Police 10-7 in March this year after he cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and went on the run. He also featured on the TV show in 2016 after he breached bail conditions.
Police warned people not to approach him because he was considered dangerous.
He was described as 183cm and of medium build.
Anyone who sees Heke should dial 111 immediately, contact Waikato Police on (07) 858 6200 or report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.