TODAY |

Fears innocent people will be caught in crossfire following Ōtara gang-related shootings

Ōtara residents say its just a matter of time until someone is killed after a spate of gang-related shootings.

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One person was injured in the incident which was reported just before 3pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Police attended six connected incidents at multiple properties in the South Auckland suburb since Friday evening.

Shots were fired in five of the six incidents.

Armed police were guarding one property today, a visual reminder of a state of unrest present in the community.

Ōtara Councillor Efeso Collins, a former youth worker, says the shootings are warnings between rival gangs.

"If we don't deal to this issue now, if we don't get guns off the street, if we're not making sure that people have got enough to eat and we're not dealing to poverty it is getting worse," Collins said.

"They're not aiming at people - they're trying to send a very clear message as to, you might be on my turf, you're taking money or resource that might be mine, and my message to you is get out of the way.

"Unfortunately, the community gets caught in the middle and we've got young people who are innocently walking home from school or in the bus stop and they're the ones who are going to reap the unfortunate side of this fire."

Police say they believe the number of people involved in the incidents is small, and that their behaviour is putting the public at risk.

An order for all police in South Auckland to be armed has now been removed, but there will be an increased law enforcement presence in the area for the time being.