Armed hostage situation in BOP

Police say officers were also shot at during the incident in the Eastern bay of Plenty. File Photo.

A man is in custody and facing numerous charges following a serious incident in Eastern Bay of Plenty where police officers were allegedly shot at and two other people were reportedly held hostage.

About 10pm, as police officers approached what they says was a suspicious vehicle on State Highway 30.

Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Wilson says the sole occupant "discharged a firearm" during the incident.

"Moments later, the weapon was presented at both officers, though thankfully neither was injured. 

"As the officers withdrew to a safe location, the suspect took a vehicle from nearby a residential property and drove off.

"An immediate police response allowed officers to set up cordons and locate the vehicle, preventing the suspect from leaving the area."

Paul says the police helicopter, Eagle, was deployed from Auckland to assist units on the ground.

In an attempt to avoid police, Paul says the stolen vehicle drove into a Hydro Road property, where two occupants at the address were verbally threatened and held hostage. 

"The suspect entered another building on the property where a third victim, in their seventies, was allegedly assaulted and held hostage for more than two hours.

"About midnight, police extracted the two victims from the main house while the Police Negotiation Team engaged with the suspect, who remained in the other building. About 12.30am, he surrendered and was taken into custody without incident. 

"The injured victim was taken to hospital with minor injuries and a sawn-off .22 rifle was recovered at the scene. 

"This was a dangerous and unpredictable incident.

"Three victims have been through a distressing ordeal in their own home, a place where they should feel safe, and two Police officers have faced a totally unacceptable threat while going about their duty.

"Police are ensuring the victims and the officers have the support they need. 

"I’m proud of the actions of our Police, who brought this volatile incident to a peaceful conclusion.

"Events like this are distressing for our communities; there will be an increased presence in the area and officers will be carrying reassurance patrols.

"Scene examinations will continue along State Highway 30 and Hydro Road today and we would like to thank the public for their understanding while this work continues."

A 31-year-old man will appear in the Whakatāne District Court today.

He faces charges relating to using a firearm against law enforcement, kidnapping, wounding with intent to injure, aggravated burglary, failing to stop, threatening to kill, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, and wilful damage. 

"As the case is before the courts, police are unable to comment further."


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