The man shot dead by police in Tauranga last night "had to be apprehended before he killed someone else" a top cop said today.
Police attempted to stop a vehicle of interest on Millers Road last night, but the vehicle instead proceeded to flee towards Carmichael Road. Along Carmichael Road police say the driver leaned out of his door and fired shots at police.
The man continued to shoot at police a number of times before reaching State Highway 2. Police say he turned left onto SH2 towards the CBD where he fired more shots. It was near the intersection of SH2 and Fifteenth Avenue where the driver again fired more shots, but this time police fired back, injuring the man. The man died at the scene.
Police were pursuing the vehicle over the double-homicide inquiry taking place in Omanawa, Tauranga earlier this week.
Fronting media this morning Superintendent Andy McGregor said there were two police vehicles and four armed offender squad members involved in last night's event.
Police say it was traumatic for the officers involved.
"The police vehicles have bullet holes in them and the officers are quite distraught," says a police spokesperson.
The man was believed to have been using a semi-automatic gun, Superintendent McGregor said.
Yesterday's fatal shooting came as homicide police investigate the deaths of two men found dead at an Omanawa property on Tuesday evening.