Morrinsville gunman still on the loose

Police hunt gunman who fired on officers The bullet-riddled police car. Supplied

Police hunt gunman who fired on officers The bullet-riddled police car. Supplied

Bruce says a scene examination is also underway and will form part of the investigation.

The road will stay closed between Avenue Rd and Scott Rd until police have finished examining the scene.

"It's a bit weird, but we're OK - they're on to it but it is a bit weird to think it has gone on in town".

It was not clear if the gunman was injured or whether he was still armed.

"We believe the weapon that was used was a military style semi-automatic firearm", Mr Bird said.

But anyone who recognised the red Holden Commodore - licence plate 1 AZIF 1 - or saw it on Saturday is asked to call police.

"The police officer gave pursuit for a short distance and the vehicle that was being pursued stopped and engaged with that police officer with a substantial amount of gunfire".

"When the other officers arrived, our information is that that attack intensified and we returned fire as well".

With the gunman on the run, the mother-of-four said armed police swarmed her house in search for him.

Following inquiries this morning police located the vehicle and are speaking to two of the occupants - a man and woman aged probably between 25 and 35 - but are still seeking a further person. Police have spoken to two of the people in the vehicle, but a third man remains at large. The relationship between the man, woman and the gunman is not yet known.

There were about 30 shots fired, about 15 of them hitting the front windscreen of the police vehicle.

The driver's door of the patrol auto, from when the officer has appeared to have fled for his life, remains open.

A scene examination on Kuranui Rd, where a red Holden and a police vehicle sat empty, riddled with bullet holes on Sunday, was expected to continue on Monday. The rear passenger door and the boot are open. The vehicles remain in the middle of a police cordon on Kuranui Rd.

Police said there had been no significant developments in the Morrinsville town overnight.

One of them was found at the scene and the second was located in Morrinsville early on Sunday.

'We would urge any people in the community to be extremely vigilant.

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"We've put all our focus, at this stage, to apprehending the gunman". It's an attack of an intensity on a police officer that I have not come across in 40 years of my service. "We just don't know what the mindset of this offender is".

He said he initially thought the shots were fireworks, until he noticed police lights, and later officers, running down Kuranui Road towards his property.

Resident Craig Burmester told NZME he and his wife were woken by gunfire about 12.15am.

She and her husband ended up staying up most of the night.

"It was quite impressive how they rang up and told you just to be wary", he said. There were an "awful" lot of shots, he said.

"Police got back to me and said "No, it's our people, it's okay", Burmester said.

"I don't know if they were running away from the gunfire, I think they were".

Other locals were told to stay inside and lock their doors. "So the police were quite good".

The offender continued to shoot at a second police patrol vehicle that arrived shortly after.

"It was pretty scary".

"We're just so very lucky those policemen are safe", she said.

The area was quickly cordoned off and the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad arrived to safely retrieve the three staff from the area.

Burmester hadn't slept all night and he expected his wife and daughter to also be exhausted as they had a pre-planned trip to Auckland.

The police officers involved have no physical injuries and police will be providing them with support, he said, adding the two people being spoken to are also not injured.

She said from her home, about 3km from Morrinsville, she saw what looked like red flashing lights towards the town.

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