A dangerous armed offender led police on a high-speed pursuit, crisscrossing the city and hitting multiple vehicles before being fired upon by police and brought down by a police dog.
The man was arrested by Auckland Police this afternoon after he discharged a firearm multiple times at Northcote before sparking a dramatic chase across three motorway networks.
Video supplied to the Herald appears to show police firing at least four shots at the man after his vehicle pulled a dramatic 180-degree swerve to avoid road spikes in South Auckland.
Over an hour after the incident in Northcote he was apprehended by police and was bitten by a police dog. The man was transported to Middlemore Hospital and is being treated for a bite wound and is currently under scene guard.
Waitemata District Commander Superintendent Nailia Hassan said the man "needed to be stopped" as he posed an extreme risk to public safety.
Police were first notified at 3.12pm of a firearms incident on Potter Ave, Northcote where multiple shots were reportedly fired following an altercation.
The offender then fled the scene in a red Holden sedan where he was observed by the Eagle helicopter driving southbound on the Northern Motorway.
The vehicle then drove on the Northwestern Motorway before turning around and continuing back towards the city.
The vehicle then travelled back onto the Northern Motorway, exiting at Onewa Rd, before continuing down to the Southern Motorway.
"He posed an extreme risk to the public, with the vehicle travelling at times on the wrong side of the road at high speeds," Hassan said.
"This was an extremely volatile and dangerous situation where we had a person who was known to have used a firearm, demonstrating violent behaviour and fleeing police."
A witness said on social media that a person in a red Holden was driving "like a maniac" down Roscommon Rd and entered the roundabout going the wrong way.
The witness said 10 police cars and the Armed Offenders Squad were on the scene with dogs.
Other motorists who witnessed the incident have contacted the Herald.
"As we exited the Southern at Greenlane East at 4.05pm a red Holden beeped to clear traffic," one said.
"Followed by two cop cars and two bikes. It swerved through the other lanes on to the left shoulder."
Another wrote: "I was at Wash World when we thought we heard gun shots [and] a red Holden come through Weymouth Rd and 10 cops and one police bike chased him.
"The cop on the bike skidded off his bike going round the roundabout. Pretty buzzy to see in real life."
A third motorist also saw the police officer fall of his bike during the chase.
"I was at the roundabout on Weymouth Rd when the red Holden burned past.
"There were at least 10 police vehicles in pursuit and a police motorcyclist fell off on the roundabout."
A fourth motorist said he videoed police chasing the vehicle north through the Victoria Park tunnel.
"I was travelling with a colleague when we saw about a dozen police cars going down the Northwestern Motorway and back again with about a dozen police cars behind them - Eagle then joined the action.
"It appeared to be a red Holden Commodore that was being chased."
The vehicle was monitored by Eagle helicopter from above where it was observed travelling onto SH2- before exiting at Roscommon Rd.
On more than one occasion, the fleeing driver clipped other vehicles being driven on the road by innocent members of the public.
"This would have been extremely frightening for other motorists. This incident could easily have had a tragic outcome," Hassan said.
"It is only sheer luck that innocent members of the public were not injured or killed, particularly as multiple vehicles were clipped by the offending vehicle."
In an attempt to stop the pursuing driver, police officers discharged their own firearms at him and the Armed Offenders Squad and Dog Squad were also called to assist.
Hassan said police fired at the offender near the intersection of Weymouth Rd and Great South Rd as he posed a threat to the public and police.
An investigation is now underway and several scene examinations are underway across Auckland.
Multiple police cars were damaged in the incident and inquiries are ongoing in relation to the firearm, which is believed to have been dumped by the man.
Details on the charges the man is facing are yet to be confirmed but the 44-year-old will be facing a number of driving and firearms-related charges.
Hassan said anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact Waitemata Police on 09 839 0697.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been notified of the incident.