A man has been shot dead by police after opening fire and injuring three officers at an address in Glen Eden, Auckland.
Police said the armed offenders squad attended the scene at around 8.17am on Monday morning following reports of a house fire and a man discharging a firearm, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said in a media conference on Monday afternoon.
Police attempted to negotiate with the man. However, the man "became increasingly agitated and aggressive over a period of approximately 30 minutes", after which the man began firing at the officers.
Police returned fire and the man was fatally wounded. First aid was administered but he died at the scene.
Two officers have moderate injuries and a third is in serious condition. All three are receiving treatment at Auckland City Hospital. None of the injuries are life threatening.
“My heart sank. It is not what we want for our people,” Coster said.
“Our people come to work every day to keep our communities safe and this is the last thing that we would want for them.
“The loss of any life is a tragedy for everyone, including our staff. We offer our deepest condolences to the family of the man who was shot today. Events like today affect our people deeply."
He acknowledged the significant challenges being faced by the community and how “many people are struggling in different ways”.
He said there is "nothing to say this is connected to gang tensions" at this stage.
Neighbours earlier told 1News they heard loud explosions followed by several gun shots.
They say their area is usually calm, although they've have noticed an increase in violence recently in the area.
1News reporter Logan Church said he was told by residents there was an increasing gang presence in the suburb, noting several shootings and other violent crimes had occurred in recent months.
One woman said she kept her daughter home from school today as a precaution.
Another told 1News they were pondering moving out of the area due to the rise in crime.
Police Minister Poto Williams said in a statement her thoughts were with the police officers injured in the shootout, and planned on calling each of them.
"These are not calls I want to have to make," she said.
"The Police Commissioner and I are committed to improving frontline safety.
"We owe this to our officers who deserve to return home to their families at the end of a day at work."
Police Association vice-president Mike McRandle said the shooting was another example of the terrible consequences of the proliferation of easily accessible firearms throughout New Zealand.
"Earlier today we read that there were more than 900 firearm offences in Auckland this year alone," McRandle said in a statement.
"In the past five years 350 people have been shot and injured across Auckland. Daily there are incidents of innocent members of the public being caught in gun violence, armed robberies and car-jackings, inter-gang warfare with firearms involved, and police officers also being shot at.
"We are witnessing a policing environment that is progressively more and more dangerous and it is no surprise to the association that the majority of its constabulary members believe they need to be armed."
St John has confirmed that they were also in attendance at the scene.
Two ambulances, one rapid response unit and one manager were sent out to the Danube Lane address, a spokesperson said.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesperson said four trucks were attending a fire at the same address.
An eyewitness told 1News the fire was "massive", while armed police were also seen blocking off surrounding roads.
The fire service said no injuries have been reported due to the fire.