In a quiet Napier suburb, about midnight, a man's voice punctures the pitch black, his words gentle but firm.
"We just want to be able to talk to you and make sure everyone is okay."
He continues: "If you can hear me but are too afraid to come out please acknowledge me by turning your light on."
It's nearly 12 hours since armed police and the Armed Offenders Squad descended on Alexander Ave in Onekawa, setting up a large cordon, laying down road spikes and putting four schools into lockdown.
In that time helicopters have flown over and negotiating teams have been brought in from as far as Levin in an attempt to prevent harm from what is believed to have been a man with a firearm.
Police have yet to confirm if the 25-year-old man had hostages with him, but it's clear we're at a crucial point.
All the street lights in the area are turned off. Police would not confirm if authorities ordered them to go dark, but it seems likely.
The blanket of darkness covers the suburban surroundings, bringing an air of uncertainty with it.
The faint outline of police can be made out by the naked eye - walking, watching and waiting. Their helmets and protective clothing visible, their guns even more intimidating.
No one knows when the standoff is going to end. Nor how.
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Armed Offenders Squad vehicles move up and down Alexander Ave and their lights flicker on and off.
Those who are allowed to venture into the heavily armed area are few and far between.
Residents sporadically pop their heads out, the curiosity getting the best of them. As the time ticks on, the odd unmarked car slowly enters Alexander Ave.
An officer steps out, with his arms full of ammunition, not for weapons, but instead for sustenance. His demeanour is friendly in the face of what's going on.
Earlier in the day was more chaotic.
The public were alerted to the incident about 2.30pm when nearby William Colenso College, Richmond School, Henry Hill School and Maraenui Bilingual School were placed into lockdown and police set up a base on the corner of Dinwiddie and Waterworth avenues.
Rebecca, a resident locked out from Alexander Ave, said she went to pick her daughter up from school but when she got back they weren't allowed back to their home.
She heard a loud noise around 1pm and said it could have been a gunshot.
"It's not unusual to hear loud noises so didn't think too much after that," she said.
"It set our dogs off barking. I thought someone had crashed into my car but that looked fine.
"It wasn't until I left to get my daughter from school that police were everywhere. By the time I came home couldn't get back in."
By 1.45am it becomes clear that things have become more relaxed. Ten minutes later it's confirmed.
"Police would like to advise that we have arrested a male at the Alexander Ave address without incident and everybody is safe," police said in a Facebook post.
"Police will be at the address for a little while yet but the cordons are about to come down and residents will be able to get back home. We would like to thank everybody out there for their patience. In the end a really good result."
Light returns to Alexander Ave.