Man charged with murder of unarmed cop
A 24-year-old man has been charged with murder after an unarmed police officer was shot dead in New Zealand this morning.
The male was intercepted after a massive manhunt and charged with several other offences tonight, New Zealand's police commissioner Andrew Coster said. He is expected to face court on Saturday.
The investigation was continuing and police have not ruled out charging other people over the incident.
"This is a shocking situation. It is the worst news that police and police officers' families can ever receive in the course of what we do," Coster said.
"Our officers walk towards danger every day, our job is to keep them safe."
Police said the officer and a colleague were approaching a crashed car in an Auckland street when a gunman produced a rifle and opened fire.
Elaine Taniela, a local, told the NZ Herald she heard gunshots from her home, and a friend "saw a cop on the ground. He looked like he was having a seizure."
Police cordoned off the area and schools in the vicinity were advised to lock down.
The dead policeman, whose details have not been released, is the 23rd to be shot dead on duty since 1890, according to the police website, with the previous fatal shooting in 2009.
Coster declined to speculate on a possible motive for the shooting.
"This was the type of work that our officers undertake every day to keep the public safe," Coster told reporters, adding "the situation unfolded very quickly".
"At this stage, there is nothing to indicate that this job was going to be anything out of the ordinary."
Police arrested two men after storming a house in West Auckland hours after the officers were shot.
One was killed, while another officer was taken to hospital with serious injuries, as well as a member of the public who was struck by the offender in his vehicle.
One man was seen coming out of a house with his hand in the air, according to the NZ Herald. The man was arrested, along with a second man soon after.
It is not yet clear whether they are connected to the shooting.
The force last week decided against introducing armed patrols and Coster said the shooting would not prompt him to revisit the issue.
However, he said police on duty in the west Auckland suburb of Massey where the shooting took place would be issued firearms for the time being as a precaution.
The death comes just a day after parliament voted to further tighten New Zealand's firearms laws in the wake of last year's Christchurch mosques massacre, when a lone gunman murdered 51 Muslim worshippers.
NZ Police Minister Stuart Nash said the officer who died "dedicated his career to keeping us safe".
"Over 10,000 men and woman have lost a valued colleagues," Mr Nash said, according to the NZ Herald.
"What an absolute tragedy. What can you say."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the death, the first of an officer on duty for 11 years, was "devastating news".
"To lose a police officer is to lose someone working for all of us, but also a family member, someone's loved one and friend. My condolences go to them and to their police whanau," Ms Ardern said.
Originally published as Man charged with murder of unarmed cop