The man who triggered a 12-hour standoff with armed police in Napier was holding a baby when he surrendered to police.

When the man, 25, emerged from the Alexander Ave property after the 12-hour standoff he was holding a baby, Stuff reports.

The standoff ended just before 2am.

The accused appeared in Hastings District Court this afternoon on charges of unlawfully possessing a firearm and discharging a firearm.

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He was granted interim name suppression, and remanded in custody to reappear on July 17 in Napier District Court.

Napier police today confirmed a gun was fired as part of a 12-hour siege that ended early today.

Several school were forced into lockdown yesterday afternoon and streets were cordoned off. Residents were kept from their homes during the standoff for much of the night before police arrested a man shortly before 2am this morning.

Armed police blocked off the street for hours and negotiators were on the scene prior to the cordon being lifted.

All the streetlights were also off, although police refused to confirm if they'd ordered them to go dark.

READ MORE:

'Acknowledge me by turning your light on': The key moment of the pitch-black Napier standoff

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 - which she believed 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."

Meanwhile, a witness says an unusual incident, in which a vehicle containing a man, woman and baby was driven with a door still open, preceded the siege.

The witness said a man and a woman had appeared to be having a dispute in Alexander Ave in Onekawa, yesterday morning.

It is not known whether the people involved in the morning incident are linked to the lockdown.

"She was holding a baby ... he was jumping in the car and he just put his foot flat when she was hopping in the car, so she just hung in there with the baby.

"By the time they got around the bend the door was still open, I could see her leg out the side."

This morning, residents in the area were going back to their normal lives.

A single police officer stood guard at the house, on the corner of Alexander Ave and Hitchings Ave.

The witness to the morning dispute, got a surprise to see armed police in the area that afternoon.

"It was a bit frightening.

"We were all having a nosey, and then they started bringing riot shields and everything in."

The witness kept an eye on what was happening throughout the afternoon, until the street lights were shut off and it was difficult to see.

The witness slept despite the incident but said there had been a "bloody racket" about 1.30am.

"That must have been when they went in a caught him.

"They got out in a hurry when they got him."

The witness said locals did not have a lot of communication from the police during the siege but everyone "got the gist" of what was happening due to their presence.

"I didn't really expect them to go door-knocking."