A shaken father sheltered his daughter as shrapnel flew past them during a dramatic armed incident tonight which ended with a man being shot by police.

The incident in Christchurch is the second police shooting in less than a week.

Emergency services descended on Shirley tonight as gunshots rang out in Eveleyn Couzins Ave following a high speed chase.

Superintendent John Price, Canterbury District Commander, said a shotgun-wielding man failed to stop for police on Breezes Rd about 7.20pm.

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Road spikes were used on his vehicle before he fired at police. They returned fire and the man was shot in the lower body.

St John confirmed a man had been taken to Christchurch Hospital tonight with critical injuries.

The man is held down by police in Christchurch this evening. Photo / via video
The man is held down by police in Christchurch this evening. Photo / via video

Dramatic video of the incident shows a man taking cover behind his vehicle in a street as police cars converge on the scene with sirens blaring before numerous gunshots ring out.

The man in a red shirt and khaki shorts sprints from the car then turns back to face police when numerous shots are fired.

Vaughan McLean told NZME he was in the lounge with his daughter when he heard the sirens.

"I looked out the window and saw them chasing the car."

He said the vehicle appeared to have lost a wheel so he and his daughter went outside to look.

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"We were standing here and the guy started shooting. I'm not sure if it was bullets hitting the road or shrapnel flying clean past us so we ran in and lay on the lawn behind the hedge.

"I'm lying on my daughter. There was a total of about 10 shots. Then it stopped so we went inside. About 10 minutes later we came back out and apparently he's been shot by police."

A photograph taken by Mathew Roberts from his balcony on Evelyn Couzins Ave shows police working on the badly injured man in the street after the shootout.

The vehicle appears to have been driven on its exposed metal wheel rims.

Roberts had been in his apartment watching television when he heard wailing sirens drawing closer.

"Popping his head out" he saw a man jumping out of a car as police vehicles pulled up close behind.

Officers then jumped out and started heading towards the man "but that's when the shooting started", Roberts said.

"I heard gun shots and ... it seemed to me there were gunshots going back and forth between police and the person the police were after.

"From what I saw there was a lot - 8 or 9 shots - [fired]."

Roberts said he didn't see the entire shootout but heard the shots because midway through he rushed to a separate balcony for a clearer view where he started filming.

By the time Roberts reached the second balcony the man was already on the ground bleeding and being cuffed by police.

He saw about four or five police cars at the scene.

Roberts said the neighbourhood was a nice one, filled with elderly people and not the kind of place where shootouts were expected.

Police at the scene in the suburb of Shirley. Photo / Jack Loader
Police at the scene in the suburb of Shirley. Photo / Jack Loader

Superintendent Price said the man had been seriously injured.

"The man presented a firearm, believed to be a shotgun, and fired at Police.

"Police returned fire and the offender was shot in the lower body.

"Police immediately issued first aid and the man was transported to Christchurch Hospital with serious injuries."

The alleged offender is now under armed Police guard at the hospital.

Cordons are in place and people are asked to avoid the area.

"Police staff involved in the incident are receiving support," Price said.

"Our Police staff come to work every day to ensure the safety of the public and no officer should ever be put in this position."

The incident is the second police shooting in less than a week.

A man was fatally shot by police during a roadside shootout on Thursday after robbing a Kawerau bank.

The Mongrel Mob member was suspected to have used methamphetamine.

Police attempted to stop the man's vehicle between Kawerau and Edgecumbe but he failed to stop.

About 10.20am the vehicle stopped on State Highway 30, near the Te Teko racecourse.

Armed officers from the Armed Offenders Squad went forward, the offender presented a firearm at them and fired a shot. The officers returned fire, hitting the man.

First aid was administered but the man died shortly after at the scene. No police officers were injured in the confrontation.

More to come