A 24-year-old man has been charged with murder after a police officer died during a shooting rampage in New Zealand.
Two officers were shot, one fatally, and a member of the public was hit by a vehicle during the incident in Massey, west Auckland, on Friday morning.
A large-scale search was sparked after the gunman fled the scene in the car, forcing local schools into lockdown.
The man was arrested on Friday night and has been charged with multiple serious offences including murder, attempted murder and dangerous driving causing injury.
The man will appear in the Waitākere District Court on Saturday.
Police commissioner Andrew Coster said he would not rule out the possibility of more people being charged.
Armed police are seen on Friday morning in Massey (pictured), west of Auckland, where one officer was shot dead and another seriously injured during a traffic stop
A police officer keeps guard of the area after the shooting in western Auckland (pictured on Friday) with the gunman still on the run
The tragedy unfolded during a routine traffic stop.
It is understood the shooter used a long-barreled shotgun they pulled from their car.
Speaking at a press conference just before lunchtime, police commissioner Andrew Coster confirmed an officer had died.
‘It is absolutely devastating news,’ he told reporters.
‘Our whole organisation is in a state of shock … [it’s] the worst news that police, and police officer’s families can receive.’
The officers were shot in the Auckland suburb of Massey, 17km west of the city’s CBD, on Friday morning
Emergency services are seen treating a police officer on Friday morning (pictured) after an apparent shooting in west Auckland
An officer is seen cordoning off the area of the shooting on Friday morning (pictured) which left one police officer dead
He said it had been a routine traffic stop, adding ‘at this stage, there was nothing to indicate this job was going to be anything out of the ordinary’.
‘The incident points to the real risk that our officers face as they go about their job every day,’ commissioner Coster added.
‘Our officers walk towards danger every day. Our job is to making sure we keep them safe.’
Investigators are seen examining the scene of the incident in western Auckland (pictured) on Friday morning, after three people – including two police officers – were taken to hospital
Police are seen at the scene of the Auckland shooting (pictured) which left one officer dead and another badly injured on Friday morning
The officers themselves were not armed at the time of the traffic stop, he confirmed.
Police minister Stuart Nash said the country was ‘heartbroken’ by the tragic shooting.
‘We want all our police officers to get home safely at the end of every working day,’ he said.
‘This is a tragic day for our police family.’
St John confirmed three people have been taken to hospital.
Firearm officers are seen patrolling the area on Friday (pictured) where the shooting took place
An armed officer is seen standing guard in Massey, western Auckland, on Friday morning (pictured) following the shooting of two police colleagues
Armed police are seen standing guard on Friday morning (pictured) with the gunman still at large after fleeing in a car
Helicopters have been deployed to the area and are circling overhead in search of the gunman, who fled the scene in his car but may have since abandoned it.
Paula Bennett, the MP for Auckland’s Upper Harbour wrote on Twitter: ‘Our local west Auckland police are the best I’ve ever known.
‘A love for their community, a real desire to protect and serve.
‘There are no words to express my sincere sadness as they and their families deal with the worst possible event. We are all with you at this time.’
The last police officer to die in the line of duty in New Zealand was back in February 2011 during the Canterbury earthquake when the CTV building collapsed in Christchurch.
An armed police officer is seen holding a gun at the scene on Friday morning (pictured) in western Auckland
Police swarmed around the area on Friday morning (pictured) after two officers were shot by a driver who then sped away from the scene, hitting a pedestrian
Elaine Taniela, who lives near the area, told the New Zealand Herald she heard three gunshots.
A family friend even witnessed the terrifying scene, and saw an officer laid on the ground.
‘He was shaking telling us,’ she said.
‘As he neared the first roundabout (near Gallony Avenue) he saw a cop on the ground. He said it looked like he was having a seizure. He was shaking.
‘He wanted to help the cop. But the neighbours and another cop yelled out to him – telling to carry on driving.’
Emergency services are seen treating a patient at the scene in Massey on Friday morning (pictured) after the shooting
An ambulance is seen at the scene of the shooting on Friday morning (pictured) which has rocked the community of Massey