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Person on the loose after shotgun fired during attempted robbery of Whangārei tavern

Two males entered a Whangārei tavern last night demanding cash and got into a dangerous altercation with staff and patrons.

Police say the pair arrived at the Tikipunga Tavern at about 10:50pm, one armed with a shot gun and the other armed with an object similar to a screw driver.

Then they demanded cash and attempted to remove money from tills, police say.

"At the same time, tavern patrons have taken exception to these offenders and have intervened with the offender with the shotgun," says Detective Senior Sergeant John Clayton.

"In the altercation the shotgun was fired once at the ground and fortunately no one was injured as a result."

Police say the second offender then fled the premise and has got into an altercation with a staff member, who received a minor wound as a result.

A 25-year-old man who was held by the patrons required medical treatment and will be facing a number of charges.

Police are looking for the second man and say it is possible he got into a waiting vehicle and left the area.

"There was no money taken in this incident, however it had the potential to have a far worse outcome," Mr Clayton says.

"I would like to acknowledge the patrons’ assistance in this incident, however we generally discourage people from intervening in these situations for their own safety."

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact police on (09) 430 4500, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

A file image of a New Zealand Police vehicle.
A file image of a New Zealand Police vehicle. Source: 1 NEWS