A man shot by police in an Auckland park exchanged more than 100 frantic texts with his girlfriend in the hours before the shooting as she pleaded with him not to harm himself, a coronial inquest has been told.

David Cerven, a 21-year-old Slovakian man, died in Myers Park in August, 2015, after calling 111 to call police to his location.

He was being sought over three armed robberies on the North Shore and police said he claimed to be armed. After 20 minutes of negotiating, he was fatally shot.

He was later found to be unarmed.

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On Monday, coroner Katharine Greig opened an inquest into his death seeking to discover whether Cerven wanted police to shoot him.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Saunders told the inquest Cerven became emotional on the day of the shooting after seeing a media report naming him as a person of interest over one of the robberies.

He then told his girlfriend he committed the robbery, telling her he was going to police to confess. Panicked by his sudden departure, his girlfriend became frantic as she tried to call and then repeatedly texted him.

He sent messages telling her he was ashamed and sorry for what he had done and that while he loved her, she must now forget him and move on with her life. She begged him to come back, saying "his mother would never forgive her that she let him go if he harmed himself".

After a few hours, Cerven called police with four unarmed officers being the first to respond, Det Sgt Saunders said.

But Cerven did not comply with any instructions. Two armed police, one carrying a rifle, then arrived.

Cerven immediately pulled his hands out of his pockets, put them together like he was holding a pistol and pointed them at the police, the officers said in their statements.

Cerven was then fatally shot. A recording of Cerven's 111 call showed him telling police everybody on the internet was saying he held up a liquor store but that he "robbery (sic) nothing".

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He told police he would wait for them and patiently spelled his name on numerous occasions but officers were at first not willing to come because they thought it was "Terven".

The inquest was then shown CCTV footage of the incident overlaid with radio communications between the police officers attending the incident.

A grainy Cevern appears to be shown in the distance with police flashlights on him, before a female officer radioed in "shots fired, shots fired" followed by a call for an ambulance to attend.

-NZN