Two police officers have been shot and seriously injured in Auckland, New Zealand, during a traffic stop, with a hunt for the suspect continuing.
The shots rang out during what the police described as a routine traffic stop in the West Auckland suburb of Massey. After shooting two officers, the suspect fled, injuring a member of the public with their vehicle, a police statement said.
The person is still at large with businesses and a local high school in lockdown while police search for them.
A local business owner on Reynella Drive in Massey told the Guardian that they had seen the shots fired and the fleeing car. They were now being taken to be interviewed by police.
Two ambulances had been called to the scene and staff were attending to the injured.
Witnesses told the New Zealand Herald that a police officer was seen lying in the street.
â€œWe are unaware how long this will last. Please do not try to contact students at school. Everyone is safe in class,â€ Massey High School wrote on its website.
Gun violence in New Zealand is rare, but a terrorist attack in March 2019 in which a gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch has ushered in two rounds of gun law reforms â€“ the second of which was passed by parliament on Thursday night. This is a rare event of gun violence against an officer in New Zealand; the last fatal shooting of a member of the police happened in 2009.
Auckland, home to about 1.7 million people, is New Zealandâ€™s largest city.