Source: New Zealand Police (District News)
Please attribute to Superintendent Tony Hill, Northland District Commander:
Police are continuing to investigate a serious shooting incident in Northland today.
We are still in the early stages of our investigation; however early enquiries have established the following:
At around 9.17am Police were called to the area around Tangowahine Valley Road, north of Dargaville, by a member of the public in relation to a suspicious male in the area.
Around the same time, an off-duty Police member has sighted the same male and had identified him as a man who had a number of active warrants for his arrest in relation to firearms and cannabis charges.
Two Police units, who had armed themselves as a precaution given the information available to them initially responded and located the man near a vehicle.
Police approached this man, who then quickly fled on-foot over a fence and into a paddock.
A Police dog handler and another Police officer has followed.
Police staff chased the man, who then turned around and presented a high calibre firearm and began shooting at the Police dog, in the direction of the Police officer.
The officer returned fire and subsequently the offender was shot three times.
Police staff immediately provided first-aid to the man and called for assistance. Specialist Police staff who arrived on scene shortly after also provided further first-aid to this man.
Both the man and the Police dog were airlifted separately to the Auckland region.
The man remains in Auckland City Hospital in a stable condition.
The Police dog is in a stable condition and receiving specialist veterinary treatment at Unitec in Mt Albert.
Cordons remain in place around the Tangowahine area with a scene examination expected to continue this afternoon.
We have located a high calibre firearm at the scene.
As is standard practice for an incident of this nature, multiple Police investigations are now underway and the IPCA has been notified.
This was a frightening incident and Police are providing all available support to the officer involved, as well as the other Police officers present at the scene.
Our Police dogs are a highly valued part of our Police whānau and regularly put their lives on the line to protect our community. We are hoping the Police dog makes a full recovery, but it is still early stages.
Police are also working with and providing support to the family of the man who was shot.
Our Police officers come to work every day and risk their own safety to keep our community safe, and this is an outcome that nobody wants. However, this incident highlights the unpredictable and dangerous nature of Policing.
Our staff must make quick decisions to ensure not only the safety of the wider community, but also their own safety. They deserve to go home at the end of the day to their families.