What an Auckland man thought were firecrackers going off in his quiet suburb was instead bullets being fired by police at an armed suspect.

Shortly afterwards a critically injured person was taken to Auckland City Hospital after a 20km pursuit through multiple busy suburbs this morning.

“I heard something that sounded like firecrackers, it could have been gunshots, three of them,” Hillsborough resident Joseph told the Herald.

Joseph saw one man being put into the back of a black police car and a mask put on his face. He sat there for 15-20 minutes before more police cars came and they all left together.

He said a large police presence is still swarming Carlton St and Frederick St.

The incident kicked off in Otahuhu just before 9am and carried on through to Greenlane and over to Hillsborough among peak our traffic, bewildering motorists and even builders working on site.

Residents also reported hearing gunshots or the police pursuit itself which stretched for more than an hour and has left one person in a critical condition.

The car eventually came to a haphazard stop on Lilac Grove in Hillsborough, where a person was shot.

A second person from the fleeing vehicle was arrested in Rendcomb Place.

Locals have been told that there is a currently a heightened police presence in the area, including in Carlton St and Frederick St.

Police advised residents there would be a heightened police presence in the area due to what happened.

However, there weren’t seeking anyone else.

A St John spokesperson said they were called to Hillsborough at 9.03am and soon after took one person to Auckland City Hospital in a critical condition. Another person was treated for minor injuries at the scene.


As the action was unfolding, a man working on a building site in Hillsborough told the Herald that police appeared to be pursuing a car.

He watched as a patrol car arrived at an intersection and an officer got out of the vehicle.

The vehicle police were seeking then appeared and the officer drew his gun and aimed it at the car.

“Police had their guns pointed at the two people,” the man said. “I could see the people ducking in their car as they were being chased.

“There’s a s*** load of cops here and they’ve blocked access to the road.”

A resident in the nearby suburb of Ellerslie said he heard gunshots about 8.55am followed by sirens and the police helicopter near the intersection of Great South Rd and Rockfield Rd.

Another resident said they heard five gun shots and what sounded like a car chase.

A resident living near the corner of Great South and Rockfield Rds said they heard what sounded like three loud gun shots and a speeding car passing by at about 8.55am.

“It sounded like a car was driving extremely fast, you could hear there was a lot of revving,” the man said.

“Then there was heaps of sirens that followed throughout the next five minutes, and then the police helicopter wasn’t far behind that either.”

The man, who had been working from home at the time, said it sounded like a police pursuit.

Shocked Hillsborough residents also watched on as police car after police car, stormed into Lilac Dr, followed by St John – with staff wearing armed vests – and eventually a Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust chopper which was seen circling above.

A resident in Rendcomb Pl saw police officers arrest a man at the bottom of the dead-end street.

After hearing sirens he came outside this morning to find the front of his house blocked off and armed police officers standing nearby.

Two helicopters were circling above.


Video of the pursuit shows a black Holden making a fast right hand turn through an Auckland intersection with traffic banked up at the stop lights.

The car’s rear wheels can be seen snaking out during the turn as three police cars follow close behind.

A fourth police car then joins the chase.

At least a dozen other cars driven by members of the public are pulled up at the intersection as the pursuit sweeps through.

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