The man shot by police in the early hours of the morning called 111 himself as he rampaged through a Papatoetoe street, threatening to kill people if they did not come.

The man - named by family on social media as Hitesh Lal - was shot dead on Central Ave after 1am yesterday.

Police responded to the street after 13 worried residents called 111 to report a man wielding a machete.

The first officer to the scene was a dog handler who encountered Lal trying to force his way into a home occupied by a family with small children.

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A source said as the lone officer got out of his vehicle people were "screaming at him for help".

Residents were extremely scared.

A man was shot dead early Monday morning after wielding a machete on Central Ave, Papatoetoe. Photo / Dean Purcell
A man was shot dead early Monday morning after wielding a machete on Central Ave, Papatoetoe. Photo / Dean Purcell

It later emerged that Lal himself called 111 from the street, as he used the machete to cause damage to vehicles, smash windows in a house and attempt to cut power lines.

It is understood that Lal - who is yet to be formally named by police - was aggressive and agitated.

The officer repeatedly told him to drop the machete and stop what he was doing, but he refused.

Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers yesterday confirmed that the offender kept advancing on the officer.

"He hasn't put the weapon down and has been shot," she said.

Lal was given immediate medical assistance, and other officers who arrived shortly after had also tried to help, but the man had died.

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The scene at Central Ave, Papatoetoe where police shot a man dead early this morning. Photo / Dean Purcell
The scene at Central Ave, Papatoetoe where police shot a man dead early this morning. Photo / Dean Purcell

"The officer did the only thing he could," said the source.

Lal's cousin posted on Facebook about his death.

"I talked to you briefly yesterday bro, no idea it would our last conversation," he said.

Last night Rogers spoke further to the Herald about the incident.

"The investigation is still in its very early stages but police have established that the deceased rang 111 himself prior to the incident," she said.

"The deceased told the 111 call taker that he had a knife and would kill anyone he came across.

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"As police has previously said, we received multiple calls in relation to the man's behaviour which included using a machete to damage cars and powerlines.

"He also used the machete to attack a number of houses by smashing in windows.

"Immediately prior to police arrival, the man was at one address where he had smashed two large windows and was in the process of smashing the venetian blinds.

"The occupants were home at the time and were terrified thinking that the man was going to gain access to the house and attack them."

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Rogers said the offender was not known to any of the occupants at the address.

"The first police officer arrived at this time and was able to prevent the man from gaining entry to this address," she explained.

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"The man turned his attention on the officer and despite repeated requests from our officer to put down his weapon, he has continued to advance on the officer and has been shot.

"Our investigation continues and we want to reiterate that this is a tragic outcome and we are supporting all of those involved."

Lal was born and raised in Ba, Fiji.

He is a Fijian Indian who had moved to New Zealand several years ago.



Police are investigating the death - alongside parallel inquiries by the Coroner and the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers briefs the media on the shooting this morning.
Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers briefs the media on the shooting this morning.

The recording of his 111 call is being reviewed by police and will be referred to the Coroner and IPCA.

It is also thought some residents captured the incident on camera.

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People on social media today have questioned why police did not use a Taser on Lal or "shoot him in the leg or arm" to slow him down.

It is understood he was far too close to the officer on the scene for a Taser to have deployed successfully.

In addition, all police are trained to shoot at the biggest target on their threat to
incapacitate them.

On a human being, that target is centre mass, or the torso.

Aiming anywhere else is not a tactical option.