A West Auckland resident has described the "chaos" of this morning's fatal police shooting and seeing one of the shot officers flee through neighbouring properties.

Two officers were shot in Massey and a member of the public was hit and injured by a vehicle after police performed a routine traffic stop on Reynella Drive.

St John confirmed three people have been taken to hospital. One of the police officers died from their injuries.

A 24-year-old man has been arrested and charged with multiple serious offences including murder, attempted murder and dangerous driving causing injury.

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The Herald understands one of the shot officers was calling for help. He could be heard yelling that he had been shot and was bleeding.

Another of those hurt suffered serious injuries and the other is said to have moderate injuries.

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Mark, who lives near where the shooting took place, said he was hanging out the washing when he heard some "loud bangs".

"At first I thought it was construction, which is pretty common here, but then I heard it again, after a distinct pause, and thought, 'That sounds like a gunshot'."

Armed police at the scene of a shooting incident on Reynella Drive. Photo / Michael Craig
Armed police at the scene of a shooting incident on Reynella Drive. Photo / Michael Craig

He went to check out the back of his property, where he got a shock to see a police officer crouching in his neighbour's backyard.

"He dropped to the ground and was looking around a bit, clutching his chest. Then he jumped over the fence and ran off up the street."

Mark said he didn't know at first what he'd seen.

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"There wasn't any blood, but he didn't look comfortable."

Within minutes he could hear sirens, and the police Eagle helicopter hovering overhead.

Soon three armed police officers were walking through his neighbour's property, who told him what he'd just seen was one of two officers who had been shot.

"Since then it has just been chaos," Mark said.

There was a body lying on Reynella Drive, covered with a sheet, understood to be a police officer.

"It is incredibly sad an officer has lost his life. I definitely didn't expect to see that this morning, it's one of the most dramatic things I've seen."

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Motorist went to help injured officer

Elaine Taniela, who lives near Reynella Drive, was at home when she heard three distinctive sounds she now believes were gunshots.

"My dad was outside and heard them as well."

Armed police at the scene of a shooting incident on Reynella Drive. Photo / Michael Craig
Armed police at the scene of a shooting incident on Reynella Drive. Photo / Michael Craig

Taniela said her father's friend, who had been coming over to their house at the time, described harrowing scenes as he drove down Reynella Drive heading towards Triangle Rd and came across an injured police officer.

"He said the cop was on his radio, hunched over and holding on to part of his body," another family member said.

The man then saw a second officer nearby.

"He saw another cop on the ground with two people - I don't know if they were neighbours - on either side of him. He stopped his car and got out and tried to help because he could see his whole body was shaking."

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The people told him to get back in the car and keep driving so he headed to his friend's home where he relayed what had happen to the friend and his daughters.

"He arrived her after that and was pretty shaken about it."

Taniela said her father's friend was still shaking when he explained what he had seen.

"He wanted to help the cop. But the neighbours and another cop yelled out to him - telling to carry on driving."

Armed police respond after two officers were shot in West Auckland. Video / Elaine Taniela / Will Trafford

As the man then got back into his car and drove off, he saw a second police officer "hunched over" another person he believed was also a police officer.

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It has been 11 years since a police officer was killed in the line of duty in New Zealand.

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In May 2009, Senior Constable Len Snee was shot dead by gunman Jan Molenaar in Napier.