An incident where a Northland police officer was shot at this morning could be linked to an attempted kidnapping in the Bay of Islands area late last night.
In a statement, police said they were investigating the kidnapping in addition to a probe into the incident where an officer was shot at by two males near the Puketona Junction early this morning.
The kidnapping incident, which occurred late last night near Waipapa, was reported to police at approximately 8am after the male victim approached a Matauri Bay property asking for help.
The man did not suffer serious injuries in the incident.
“The Armed Offenders Squad was deployed to the Matauri Bay area as a precaution given the seriousness with which police are treating these matters,” investigations manager Detective Inspector Dene Begbie said.
A vehicle of interest related to the attempted kidnapping has been located by police, Detective Inspector Dene Begbie said.
The grey 2010 Nissan Skyline was set alight on Puketotara Road near Okaihau at around 4.50am this morning.
“We are still working to establish if the vehicle involved in the kidnapping matter was the same vehicle used in the State Highway 11 incident," Detective Inspector Begbie said.
“Given we are still establishing the circumstances of this incident, police are limited in further comment at this stage."
Investigators were following a number of lines of inquiry related to the shooting, police said in a statement.
The shooting occurred at around 4.13am this morning when a car pulled in front a police vehicle on State Highway 11 near the Puketona Junction with State Highway 10.
Police say two males hopped out of the vehicle with guns, shooting the police vehicle and damaging the windscreen before the officer could get out of the car.
“Both occupants who got out were believed to be male, were masked and of solid build.”
Detective Inspector Begbie said support was being offered to the officer who was shot at.
“They are understandably shaken by the incident and I commend the actions this officer took to ensure their own safety,” he said.