A man who was shot several times at his Hamilton home was the victim of a "targeted attack", police say.

Waikato police Inspector Freda Grace also confirmed the gunmen initially approached the wrong house in their search for 35-year-old Michael Bell.

Grace said the gunmen arrived in Derby St and approached a house they believed belonged to the target of their attack and knocked on the door.

A man who lived at the address opened the door and an "altercation" occurred.

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He was uninjured but understandably shaken by the event, she said.

The group left, heading to a neighbouring house where a number of shots were fired.

Bell was then shot several times inside his house.

The group then fled the scene in vehicles, police said.

The man is currently recovering in Waikato Hospital's high dependency unit and is in a moderate condition.

The Derby St house where an innocent member of the public was approached by three men - two of whom were believed to have been armed. Photo / Belinda Feek
The Derby St house where an innocent member of the public was approached by three men - two of whom were believed to have been armed. Photo / Belinda Feek

Grace said it was too early to say if gangs were involved.

She wanted to reassure the community that there was no need for concern following the incident.

"The fact an innocent member of the public was accidentally caught up in this incident is upsetting.

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"This kind of behaviour is simply not acceptable and we are determined to find those responsible."

The shooting is the sixth serious incident in the Waikato in the last two months, which has seen four people left dead, and several others battling serious injuries.

"We are concerned that there have been a number of serious incidents involving people being harmed across Waikato in recent months.

"At this point in time, there is nothing to suggest these incidents are connected.

"Investigations like this are complex and can take time, however we want people to know that we are taking this seriously and are confident we will hold people to account.

The home of shooting victim Michael Bell, who remains in a moderate condition in Waikato Hospital today, is under a police scene guard. Photo / Belinda Feek
The home of shooting victim Michael Bell, who remains in a moderate condition in Waikato Hospital today, is under a police scene guard. Photo / Belinda Feek

"We are still in the very early stages of this investigation but the public should be assured that we will tell them anything they need to know."

Neighbour attacked first

Three men, at least one armed with a firearm, beat up an innocent man before heading next door and repeatedly shooting their victim.

Neighbours of the Derby St, Hamilton, house today told the Herald the gunmen first went to the wrong property in their search for the shooting victim, Mike Bell.

The innocent neighbour was in his garage drinking beer at the time when he was confronted by the gunmen about 10.25pm last night.

After a tussle, which another neighbour said saw the innocent victim get kicked, the trio went next door and opened fire on Bell.

The number of shots heard being fired ranged from three to five, witnesses spoken to by the Herald said this morning.

One woman said she heard someone - who she later found out was Bell - shout "gun" as she and her family were about to go to bed.

Police forensic staff arrive at the shooting scene on Derby St, Hamilton. Photo / Belinda Feek
Police forensic staff arrive at the shooting scene on Derby St, Hamilton. Photo / Belinda Feek

"I heard them say there was a gun. Like, he screamed it."

Then there were gunshots.

She told her family, which includes young children, to "get down" as the shots rang out.

"We were all in the lounge and just getting ready for bed and then that happened. I was just telling my family to get down."

She looked outside and could see the lights of an older model car leaving but it returned and two more shots rang out.

The street remained deathly quiet until emergency services arrived.

She then looked out the window and saw the shooting victim with ambulance staff, walking down the street and holding his arm.

Bell was a nice guy and wasn't connected to a gang, the neighbour said.

Another said the neighbour was involved in the tussle with the gunmen initially, had been drinking beer in his shed when two men armed with guns walked in.

A third man, believed to be unarmed, waited outside as they confronted the man.

He said the victim was doing okay but was more worried about his children who were inside his house at the time.

Violence in the Waikato

• September 19: Michael Bell seriously injured after being shot in his Nawton, Hamilton, home. Offenders still being sought.

• September 14: 17-year-old shot in face in north Hamilton suburb of Horsham Downs. Offenders still being sought.

• August 31: Leigh Wallace shot dead in an alleged domestic incident. Arrest made.

• July 13: Mitchell Paterson, 26, found dead in the water beneath McLaren Falls bridge near Tauranga. Multiple arrests made.

• July 8: Hamilton man Robert Nelson shot dead in the Melville home of his girlfriend, Kahlee Marshall, who was also shot and injured. A third man, 17, is recovering after being shot four times. Offenders still being sought.

• July 4: Huntly man Wayne Noda found dead in his home. Offenders still being sought.