Friends of Christchurch's most wanted man are urging him to give up as police raids continue across the city.
The manhunt for 21-year-old Liam Strickland, who is wanted in connection with the fatal hit and run of pedestrian Dean Amies in New Brighton on Wednesday, has now entered its third day.
Two of Strickland’s childhood friends, David Prasad and Liam Huata, where inside a Philipstown property when armed police surrounded the house today.
“We were just in the room and my good mate over here reckons, 'Oh, there's cops coming through the neighbour’s front yard with guns and s**t',” he says. “We all got cuffed, every single one of us.”
Mr Prasad says police told him they had evidence that Strickland was in the house but left empty-handed.
They later released the handcuffs and the men were allowed to return to the property, which now has a broken window.
Liam Huata, who grew up with Strickland as a child, says it was “pretty scary experience”.
“We see everyone surrounding the whole house with guns, we got told to walk with our hands on our heads,” he says.
“Honestly I just think he should hand himself in, save more people, I dunno, don't want a wanted man on the streets.”
Police have now raided at least 10 properties across the city in the search, including a stand-off at a house in Woolston overnight.
Cellphone footage filmed during the event shows officers with flashlights, while a police negotiator uses a megaphone to address Strickland by name.
The negotiator could be heard saying, “Liam, the time is now to do the right thing”, advising him to “come out of your front door, stand on your porch with your hands where we can see them”.
Police later confirmed three people had been arrested after police had apprehended a “suspicious car” and arrested two occupants. A third occupant fled and was located at a “nearby Woolston property”.
However, they say after everything was said and done, Strickland was not involved in the incident.
This morning the neighbourhood was on edge, with Woolston resident Hadani Woodruff saying she heard the loudspeaker while reading her son stories in bed.
“It is a bit worrying, especially when you've got children around and you're not sure, 'Is some guy going to be leaping over the fence?'” she says.
There was also no sign of Strickland back in Philipstown. But the terrifying ordeal prompted David Prasad to suggest his friend should “make the right choice”.
With no end in sight, those associated with the wanted fugitive can expect those unwelcome visits to continue.