Man shot by police officer in unfolding incident in Northland

A man has been shot by a police officer in an incident between Dargaville and Whāngārei that also saw a police dog shot twice.

The tiny settlement of Tangowahine on the northern Kaipara Harbour in Northland was shut down this morning as police raced to support colleagues who had confronted an armed individual.

Police said in a statement this morning they were called about 9.17am after a member of the public called to report a suspicious person on Tangowahine Valley Road.

“Police staff have responded to that job in an area with very limited communication. We are still working to establish exactly what has occurred.

“However, we can confirm that a police dog has been shot, and a man who has shot the dog has been shot by police.

“Both are currently being airlifted separately to receive medical and veterinary assistance.

“We are in the very early stages of establishing what exactly has happened but an update will be provided as soon as one becomes available.”

The Herald understands that in the minutes following the incident, the dog handler present during the shooting scooped up his dog and raced for Dargaville.

The Herald has confirmed a veterinary clinic in Dargaville was on standby to receive the dog.

Police responded in force, with about 20 police cars seen racing down State Highway 14 from Whangarei to Tangowahine.

Police told Tangowahine School about the shooting but there was no need to put the school in lockdown, principal Huw Wainwright said.

Wainwright said classes continued as normal although the school would use its mailing list to tell parents what was happening.

“We’re not in a situation where we upset or unduly react to something we’re not fully informed about”.

Wainwright said the school was waiting on further information from police.

Ian MacDonald, a beef and sheep farmer on Tanogwahine Valley Rd, said an ambulance had gone past about 10.15am.

“It’s terrible, shocking. Of course it’s a worry. I have kids myself so you want to stay safe.”

MacDonald has lived in the area all his life and said people were farmers who quietly went about their business.

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