Armed police in Papakura, residents urged to stay away

Armed police officers and the police Eagle helicopter have swarmed two streets in Papakura this morning.

A number of cordons are in place and members of the public are asked to avoid the area while police make inquiries.

A resident told the Herald he was standing at the Papakura Cemetery just before midday when an armed police officer approached him and told him to leave as there was an armed person in the area and it was not safe to be there.

He said a black SUV appeared to have crashed through a fence and he could see police emptying bags out of the vehicle on to the street.

“They were recovering bags and bags of goods. They were opening the bags up on the road.”

There were four people in the vehicle that crashed and two scarpered in a Subaru Legacy while two others went inside a house and took the residents hostage, he said.

Debris from the crashed vehicle is strewn across the street.

Road spikes were set up shortly after near Red Hill.

“The whole area is shut down and there were police on top of the railway bridge.”

Police were everywhere and some were even hiding in bushes.

Police had set up a command centre on the corner of Settlement Rd.

Armed police are currently going door to door in the area.

“As this situation is still unfolding, no further information is available at this very early stage,” a police statement said.

A passing motorist told the Herald there was a strong police presence on Settlement and Opaheke Roads just before midday, with “heaps of armed police in the area”.

They could see at least 10 police cars from Settlement Rd.

A large SUV car had also crashed on the corner of the two streets.

The Eagle helicopter was hovering over the area.

Cordons are in place at the following intersections:

• Great South Rd and Settlement Rd.
• Opaheke Rd and Alexander St.
• Opaheke Rd and Onslow Rd.
• King Edward Ave and Settlement Rd.

– More to come

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