TODAY |

Police release name of Mongrel Mob gang member killed in shootout with officers

Police have released the name of the man who died following a shootout with officers yesterday in Kawerau, Bay of Plenty.

He was 29-year-old Astin Cruz Hooper of Te Teko.

Described by police as a Mongrel Mob gang member who was high on P at the time of the incident, he was shot and killed by police after an alleged bank robbery, family harm incident and chase in Kawerau yesterday morning.

Police were alerted to reports of the first two incidents in the Kawerau area at about 9am, they said, and soon after located a vehicle believed to be involved before attempting to pull it over.

The driver fled and tried to ram a police car before eventually stopping of his own accord on State Highway 30 at about 10.20am, according to authorities.

Police said he then pulled out a firearm and shot at officers, who returned fire - hitting the man. First aid was given, but the man died at the scene.

No police staff were injured in the incident.

Investigators believe there would have been a number of people travelling on the rural roads between Kawerau and Edgecumbe yesterday between 9am and 10.30am who would have seen the incident and may have dash cam footage from when they have driven past the incident as it unfolded.

Authorities have asked that anyone who witnessed any of the incidents call Rotorua Police on 07 349 9400, or leave an anonymous tip through Crimestoppers at 0800 555 111.