A police officer has been killed in a shooting in New Zealand and a manhunt is underway for the offender.
A second police officer was also injured in the shooting and a pedestrian was hit by a car when the offender fled the scene.
New Zealand police say a big operation is underway to apprehend the offender, who attacked officers performing a “routine traffic stop” in the west Auckland suburb of Massey on Friday morning.
Shots were fired at police, hitting two officers, and a member of the public was hit and seriously injured by the offender’s vehicle, according to police.
“Two officers have been shot and have been seriously injured,” the police tweeted just before midday local time in New Zealand.
It has been reported that the officer died from a gunshot wound to the stomach.
The incident happened about 10.30am this morning.
It is understood that one of those involved in the incident suffered serious injuries and the other person had moderate injuries.
Two ambulances were earlier at the scene while paramedics attended to injured people. Witnesses told reporters an injured police officer could be seen laying in the street.
Elaine Taniela told The New Zealand Herald she was at home when she heard gunshots. She said a friend who was on his way to her house at the time described seeing an officer on the ground shaking, as if he was having a seizure.
The suspect has still not been located, and local businesses and a high school have been shut down as police scour the area searching for the gunman.
New Zealand Police described the incident as “unfolding serious incident” and urged members of the public to avoid the area.
“We are unaware how long this will last. Please do not try to contact students at school. Everyone is safe in class,” Massey High School wrote in an update on its website.
The offender is believed to have fled the scene in their vehicle. Police have retained a large police presence at the scene and continue searches for the suspect.
New Zealand last year enacted new gun control laws banning the deadliest types of semiautomatic weapons after a mass shooting in which a gunman killed 51 people at two Christchurch mosques during Friday prayers.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, with about 1.7 million people.
More to come