A Kurow man shot by police on Thursday was "respected worldwide" as a fishing guide and a friend to many, a close friend and former co-worker says.
The man, who was in his 60s and has yet to be named, had no history with police.
He was shot in the driveway of his home in Freyberg Ave, Kurow, after presenting a weapon at police, the Otago Daily Times reports.
The man was given medical treatment by police and flown to Dunedin Hospital, where he died early yesterday morning. The property was cordoned off yesterday.
Oamaru Sports and Outdoors co-owner Richard Hill knew the man, who worked at the store when it was known as Wilsons Sports Centre, for several years.
A keen angler who advised many of the store's customers about the sport, Mr Hill said he was an "outstanding and well-respected staff member" whose services as a fishing guide were in high demand.
"He was a man that was respected worldwide for the fishing guiding that he did. He was a professional guide and was outstanding at what he did. He had a heart of gold. He would do anything for anyone."
The man worked at least one day a week at Kurow's Caltex service station.
The service station's owner, who did not want to be named, said the had known the man for "quite a long time".
"He has not only been an employee, he has been a family friend and I am a bit lost for words at the moment.
"It will affect the town for sure. It will rock the town."
A shocked Freyberg Ave resident, who did not want to be named but had known the man "on and off" for 24 years, described him as a "quiet and very nice guy".
The man, who lived by himself, had lived on the street for about a year, he said.
Acting Southern district commander Inspector Darryl Sweeney said the man was shot after he "held and presented" a firearm at police.
He said yesterday police were called to reports the man had made threats of suicide and became aware he had access to a firearm.
Initially one rural police officer was called to the address about 9.05pm, and he was joined by three officers "followed by a full support team".
Police were armed as a precaution.
"A fatal shooting is an outcome that no-one in the police wants, or [anyone] in the community. The man was not located until about 10.50pm, with his firearm, inside ... a property. Police were still outside at the time."
The armed offenders squad was "activated" but did not reach the incident in time, while a negotiations team at the Dunedin Central Police station were unable to make contact.
"Unfortunately, about 11.50pm the man confronted police at the address, he was armed with a firearm and he was shot once," Insp Sweeney said.
He was unable to say whether the man's weapon was loaded or whether any threats were made.
He was unable to say where on his body the man was shot.
There would be a critical event investigation, the IPCA had been informed and were also investigating, and the death would be referred to the coroner.
People Against Prisons Aotearoa spokeswoman Emilie Rakete said if police "can't handle these situations without killing that person, they have no business being first responders".
Those comments were slammed by New Zealand Police Association president Chris Cahill, who labelled them "offensive". He said police were the only responders available 24 hours a day to attend such incidents, many of which were resolved peacefully.
"The unfortunate reality is there will be circumstances in which people in mental health distress present a serious threat to themselves, their families, the public and police."
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:
• 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202