New Zealand police have confirmed a man accused of shooting four officers in a lengthy standoff overnight has been arrested in the Bay of Plenty.
New Zealand’s police commissioner Mike Bush had only just landed in Australia when he learned of the standoff and flew straight back.
A no-fly zone was in place around the rural property where the sole shooter was surrounded by police and family held a vigil.
“The male surrendered without incident and has been taken into custody,” said a police statement on Thursday morning.
The mother of the suspect had told police her son would surrender if he was able to walk out with his family, but that request was denied.
In a statement to the media, the suspect’s family said the man was eventually collected by a Maori police liaison officer, which he requested.
Four police officers were shot on Wednesday during the effort to arrest a person taking shots at a police aircraft.
The large-scale operation took place at the property in Otakiri, about 70km from Rotorua.
The New Zealand Defence Force sent a tactical lift helicopter and three light armoured vehicles to assist police.
Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement told reporters on Wednesday evening the stand-off started in the morning when shots were fired at a police aircraft during a cannabis operation.
Police closed in on the offender’s property, but by 4pm three officers had been shot.
Two of the officers were taken to Whakatane Hospital and were discharged, and a third is in Rotorua Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
A fourth officer was later shot in the hand, and has received medical treatment.
All officers were male, but Mr Clement would not confirm ages or the details of injuries.