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'He didn't look like a criminal' - liquor store owner shocked friendly robber shot dead

An Auckland liquor store owner has told how a man later shot by police waved a knife at her and told her to open the till after she first thought he was lost and looking for directions.

Slovak David Cerven, 21, was shot and killed in Myers Park in central Auckland last night after he threatened police that he had a gun.

He was wanted by police over the armed robbery of three liquor stores in Auckland's North Shore over the past week.

Deborah Wang has told ONE News she was sitting in her Thirsty Liquor shop in Glenfield watching YouTube on her laptop at 6.25pm last Wednesday when Cerven came in, stood next to the laptop and put a black backpack on top of it.

"I thought he had got lost. I was waiting for him to say which road to go.

Deborah Wang was robbed at knifepoint by David Cerven while working in a liquor store, days before his fatal altercation. Source: 1 NEWS

"He pointed a knife down on my waist already. But I didn't see the knife because I was looking up at him. And he waved the knife and he said 'open the till' so I knew he was doing the robbery," Ms Wang said.

After he fled with $400, Ms Wang says she grabbed her phone to take photos of him and chased him about 10 metres before he ran into another street. 

She then returned to her store, checked her camera for any footage and rang her husband who was working for a friend at another liquor store.

I was quite shocked at first and then I feel quite happy - Thirsty Liquor store owner Deborah Wang

She called 111 and within three minutes police passed her store chasing the man, she says.

Ms Wang says she was shocked when a friend rang this morning and told her the man shot by police last night was the robber.

"I was quite shocked at first and then I feel quite happy and relieved because everything had finished.

"I never saw this guy before. And he looked friendly as well. He didn't look like a  criminal, so I didn't realise he was doing that.

"I didn't realise he was doing a robbery so I was not nervous at all. I didn't realise the police were that efficient to find the guy, I thought it would take a week or two weeks."

Jung Kun Ahn, duty manager of the Harbour City liquor Store in Glenfield, told ONE News David Cerven robbed his store last Saturday at 3.30pm.

"He just showed up with a knife. It was a big kitchen knife. He said 'just put all the cash in the bag'."

He said his staff had dealt with Cerven before and had described him as "really kind" and "friendly."

Meanwhile, police hope to lift the cordon of Myers Park this evening once their scene examination is completed for the homicide investigation into the shooting of Cerven.

Police say the investigation also involves liaison with Cerven's family in Slovakia.