Around 100 people have gathered on a hilly reserve overlooking the police cordon on Reynella Dr in Massey where a police officer was gunned down yesterday.
Massey residents organised the gathering at the crime scene at 4.30pm to show solidarity and "love as one family".
Prayers were spoken and songs sung in memory of 28-year-old Constable Matthew Hunt, the police officer who was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in the West Auckland suburb.
"We acknowledge the anger at the loss of an innocent life yesterday. We mourn the family that has to lose a loved one. We ask for peace and justice in our community," one man who led the gathering said.
Rita Talanmaivao, 60, and Anita Burgess, 54, have been neighbours around the corner from the police shooting for decades. They said they have come out this afternoon to show support for their community and the family of the slain officer.
"There's so much negative stuff to deal with of late, following four weeks of hell with lockdown - we don't need this," Talanmaivao said.
"My thoughts are just with his family. So young, just 28."
One man at the gathering said: "We dream of a world where this doesn't happen, where we don't have this violence."
Many of the group walked down the hill together to place flowers, some returning in tears.
Chris and Kathy Lange, both 33, have lived in Massey for several years raising their two kids. Kathy said she regularly travels down Reynella Dr and it was an unsettling experience to hear the shooting had happened so close to where they live.
"On lockdown we walked through this street regularly. I drive my boys to playgroup along here. It's so close to us," Kathy said.
Chris said today's gathering represented the true spirit of the community, coming together after yesterday's tragedy.
"Yesterday's events show a bad side of our community, but today's gathering, these scenes show the right side. The true side of Massey, is coming together," he said.
Aaron Hendry, 28, organised today's gathering and lives just around the corner from the scene of the shooting.
"My wife wrote a small article for a blog I run and posted on a community page and we could just see that a lot of people were still hurting and grieving. I guess it just felt right for us to have some space for us to grieve together," Hendry said.
"It rocks you. Our world is not meant to be this way.
"There's grief all over. These things cause deep wounds and they don't go away fast. It just seems appropriate for us to offer a space for people to mourn."
Meanwhile, underneath the New Zealand and New Zealand Police flags flying at half mast outside Henderson police station in West Auckland are flowers, candles, letters, cards, and even a sign from a traffic work site reading "Thank you".
Streams of mourners are paying their respects by stopping outside the police station and leaving flowers and messages of support. Every few minutes a new car parks in the car park and its occupants place flowers or messages of support.
Several serving police officers have stopped outside the station to view the display.
One woman said she was really sad about the young man's death and her heart was with the family and his colleagues.
"We're thinking of them," she said.
"Just because there's Covid in the world and all that, I don't want the family and the police to think we don't care about them. It's [Covid-19] isn't the only sadness in the world."
The woman wasn't amazed to see so many other had been out to pay their respects - it shows the love New Zealanders share for others.
The public have left the family and co-workers of Hunt messages of love and support.
"I am a parent and I have shared tears for both you and your son and his co-workers," one letter said.
"Your loss, your pain and suffering, your total devastation is New Zealand's loss and devastation. In all our thoughts."
Many of the letters thanked police for the work they did in the community for keeping people safe.
"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You made the ultimate sacrifice," another letter said.