'I heard probably six shots' - Auckland man tells of crossing paths with Germany synagogue shooter

A West Auckland man living in Halle, Germany, tried to slow down the alleged synagogue shooter as he sped away from police.

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Shane Smith, who lives in Halle, thought the speeding car may have hit someone. Source: 1 NEWS

Two people are dead after the attack, and one person is in custody, with witnesses saying a man shouted racist insults and tried to force his way into a synagogue.

Shane Smith, who lives in the city with his German girlfriend, was on his way to get some breakfast when he noticed a commotion.

"Coming out of our house near our apartment building and I heard probably six shots, six loud noises, I didn't realise they were shots," Mr Smith said.

"I didn't think anything of it [and] went for a walk to get some cakes to the bakery and I heard this car revving up and coming up our street faster than anybody should come up our street.

"I seen him coming up the road, there's kids all over the place here, it's a nice neighbourhood, so I sort of went in between the cars and I thought if he saw somebody maybe walking out of the cars maybe he might slow down a bit.

"But he didn't really take any notice of me - I didn't really see anyone in the car."

Mr Smith said the car didn't slow down and sped straight through give way signs.

He continued walking and noticed police vehicles following the car, and noticed they had broken rear windows.

"I thought, that's pretty weird, must have been something going on.

"I sort of carried on my morning walk to the bakery, got some cakes and walked out of the bakery and sort of noticed some people up on the corner.

"So I walked up to have a look and there was a lady lying there, a couple of police around but they weren't interested in helping here or anything - I gathered that she was dead."

Mr Smith said he considered it to be a safe, family neighbourhood, and that everyone he had spoken to about it was "pretty shocked".