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Two men have been taken into custody after a police dog was killed and two officers injured in an armed incident in the Christchurch suburb of Phillipstown.
A Herald photographer at the scene said one of the men was bloodied and wearing ripped shorts. The body of a dog was lying on the road.
Police Minister Judith Collins confirmed two officers had been injured, but said their injuries were not life-threatening. She also confirmed a dog had been killed.
"I am being updated as events unfold," Ms Collins said.
"I will be travelling to Christchurch this afternoon, and hope to visit the officers involved, and offer any support I can.
"This incident serves to remind us that the job police do in keeping the community safe can be dangerous and unpredictable."
The Herald understands the armed incident began when police made a routine call to a house on Buccleugh St and a person emerged with a rifle.
NZPA reported the weapon was .22 rifle.
Police have been giving little information other than saying several shots were fired in the area.
A spokesman for St John Ambulance said the injured police officers were believed to have been hospitalised although they were not transported by the service.
Newstalk ZB reports ambulances have left the scene.
One officer is believed to have suffered gunshot injuries to the head, while the second is thought to have been shot in the upper leg.
Neither officer is believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries.
Armed Offenders Squad officers are at the scene near Tuam Street, which has been blocked off. Traffic is being diverted from the area.
There are numerous police cars in the area and residents outside the cordon have gathered on the streets.
A neighbour told nzherald.co.nz she first saw two policemen running down the road.
"That's when I knew something must have happened," said the woman who did not want to be named.
She said it looked like police were talking to a man inside one of the flats and asking him to come out.
"I went outside and was told to go back in. I saw a policeman at the end of the drive with a gun," the woman said.
Other residents living near the scene of the shooting reported hearing a loud thumping noise, believed to be the gunshots.
Residents then saw a person being held down on the street by police.
The person was understood to have fought against police trying to retrain him before he was taken to a police vehicle.
Residents said the man appeared to crying as he was taken into custody.
A further gunshot was heard after this person was arrested.
Hannah Johnson, 18, was in her flat on Buccleugh St when the incident happened outside her home.
"I was sitting in my room and I heard all these guys, so I went and looked out my gate and there was this guy with his hands on his head, and the cops had him down on the ground then took him away," she told NZPA.
"I heard one gunshot, but that was further down the road."
Ms Johnson said the police stayed in the area for some time after the incident.
"They're just standing behind their cars with these massive guns."
Another eyewitness, who lived across the road from the house, said he heard police shouting that a dog had been shot.
Steven Parker, 43, said he saw armed police rush into the house and heard one shot after that.
"The cops went in at one stage, the armos (AOS) went in, I heard a whole lot of shouting and then I heard one shot," he said.
"I heard them shouting that a police dog had been shot," Mr Parker said.
Phillipstown was known for a high crime rate, he said.
"All sorts of interesting things go down in Phillipstown," he said
"I've probably seen eight to 10 armed offenders."
Another local resident, who declined to be named, said the immediate area "wasn't particularly bad" but there had been three murders in Olliviers Road, which adjoins Buccleugh St, in recent years.
The police were planning to hold a press conference on the incident at 2pm.