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NZ police shoot knife-wielding man

AN eye-witness has described seeing police taser then shoot a man in the Christchurch suburb of Hoon Hay this morning.

Kelvin McElroy, 40, was on his way to use an ATM machine on the corner of Hoon Hay and Lincoln roads at 8am when he saw a car crash into a wall on Hoon Hay Rd.

"The driver got out with two knives. He went back up towards this truck which had pulled over. The truck driver saw the guy coming at him with knives and must have thought he needed to do something to protect himself. He got a steel bar and got out and confronted him.

"They had a go in the street. The truck driver hit him in the neck real hard with the steel bar but he didn't go down. He was trying to stab him, he was wild.

"Then a police car turned up. An officer told him to put the knives down but he wouldn't so the cop tasered him. He still didn't go down.

"The cop kept saying 'put the knives down, put the knives down', but he wouldn't, and then he came towards the cop brandishing the knives.

"He must have been on drugs or something, he was so pumped up. He shot him twice - bang bang - once in the shoulder and once in the stomach.

"He went down and the cops took the knives away and started first aid. I couldn't believe my eyes.

"After that an older woman who was sitting beside the road came up and hugged him. I think he must have saved her from some road rage incident or something.

"The truck driver was very brave.''

The truck driver, who was in his mid 20s, left the scene with police officers. Before that he could be seen sitting and crying with his head in his hands.

It is believed the shot man had hijacked a Good Times food vehicle being driven by a woman and forced her to drive around at knifepoint.

Witnesses said the driver jumped out of the vehicle on Hoon Hay Rd and was chased by the hijacker.

They said two other motorists - one the truck driver and the other from a Christchurch City Council vehicle - tried to help and were both stabbed.

Police were called to the corner of Hoon Hay Rd and Halswell Rd, near Lincoln Rd, just after 8am.

Spokesman Stephen Hill said during the callout police shot a man in the shoulder but his injuries were not life-threatening.

A man with serious stab wounds had been taken to hospital.

Another witness, who returned to his home on Lincoln Rd from his nightshift about 8am, saw a man bleeding badly outside about five minutes later.

"He was about 60 and in a real bad way, blood everywhere, congealing on the footpath,'' said the man, who did not want to be named.

"A cyclist and a woman in a car stopped and helped him. They put him in the front seat of her car and then the back seat.

"They were getting really agitated with time ambulance was taking. He was bleeding to death I reckon. He was unconscious.

"When the ambulance cane he got in with him and dumped his bike and helmet over my fence. Something seriously major has gone down.''

Canterbury District Health Board spokeswoman Karalyn van Deursen said two people were in the Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department.

"The person who has been shot is in a serious condition and the person who has been stabbed is stable.''

St John ambulance said police had taken a third patient, understood to be female, to hospital.

Part of Hoon Hay Rd was cordoned off as police spoke to witnesses and neighbours.

Children were escorted around police tape to get to Spreydon Primary School, across the road.

A house less than 100 metres from the scene of the shooting was also cordoned off.

Witnesses saw more than a dozen police cars and at least two ambulances.

Topics:  christchurch police



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