A gunman at the centre of a West Auckland rampage is pictured moments before being shot by police outside the Henderson Police Station.
A West Auckland councillor says Henderson Valley residents are “really fearful” and anxious following a gunman’s rampage on Friday, and said people were worried about recent trends of crime.
Police shot an armed man at the Henderson Police Station on Friday after he shot at police officers and attempted to rob a cash-in-transit Armourguard van at the Henderson Gull petrol station.
Terror-stricken residents recounted the gunman’s rampage to the Herald – one sharing the moment he watched the man point a gun out his car window and shoot at police.
“Bang bang bang – then he sped away. Five seconds later there was a flurry of gunfire,” one witness told the Herald.
Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan said the incident was an “inexcusable act of violence” where the man shot at police “at least seven” times and possibly members of the public.
Waitematā councillor Shane Henderson said, “residents are really fearful, they’re anxious, and they want to be reassured they’re safe [after] the terrible shooting.
“At the same time, I think [residents] are really thankful that the police acted swiftly and controlled the situation without either officers or the public being hurt in such a dangerous situation,” he said.
“When offenders are armed, they have a measure of predetermination in what they’re doing,” Henderson said. “A lot of crime is opportunistic, but situations where people have planned to commit horrible crime – that’s a terrifying thing.”
Henderson said people were concerned about “trends around safety and crime” around the country.
“It’s something we have to get a handle on,” Henderson said.
“I’m giving [police] space at the moment, but I’ve reached out today and hopefully we’ll connect when they’re ready to talk about the more preventative measures.”
In regards to Friday’s shooting, Henderson said, “we need to wrap our arms around our loved ones and hold them close. Remember – we’re all a community together and we will get through this.’
He said it was “ironic” the gunman was shot at the Henderson Police Station considering the station was the “gold standard in terms of prevention measures”.
“They [Henderson Police Station] work really closely with the community. They know the [crime] hotspots, they know some of the potentials risks in our community and they work really hard at that positive policing model,” he said.
The Blue Hope Foundation, which called itself the country’s newest support group for police, said it stood behind the officers involved in Friday’s shooting.
“We recognise that police officers are trained to handle these types of situations, but we also acknowledge that the decision to use lethal force is never an easy one,” Blue Hope managing director Allister Rose said.
“We stand firmly behind the police officers involved, recognising the difficult circumstances they faced and the importance of their actions in keeping our communities safe,” Blue Hope said in a statement.
The Foundation also said it extended its thoughts and condolences to the families and loved ones of the offender.
Henderson said he had not spoken to the gunman’s family: “I think it’s appropriate to give people space. They have lost a loved one, like everyone. I think it would be wrong of me at this stage to bowl into a situation like that.”
The gunman, who was in his mid-20s, was already known to police. He had charges relating to drugs and violence, police said.
Police were reviewing the incident, and the Independent Police Conduct Authority had been notified as well as WorkSafe.
“The behaviour of this offender was certainly unpredictable and erratic. His behaviour has indicated to us he is not predictable,” Hassan said.
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