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Officer leaps for life after dog shot dead

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/04/2016

Police have located a man and are negotiating with him in Porirua where a police dog has been shot dead and a policemen injured.

The officer jumped out of a second storey window to flee a gunman who shot the police dog.

Police were searching for a man who fired the single shot when officers tried to arrest him for breaching bail conditions.

In an update they said they were negotiating with a person of interest in the Kokiri Cres area and road remains closed for public safety.

Four-year-old German Shepherd Gazza died at the scene from what is believed to be a single shotgun blast on Friday morning.

An area of Porirua has been cordoned off and residents are being told to stay indoors as police clear suspect houses.

One of four armed police officers who carried out the search in Kokiri Crescent suffered suspected fractures after leaping from a second storey window when the dog was shot.

The officer, who is not the dog's handler, is in Wellington Hospital with his family after a "harrowing" day, says Wellington district commander Superintendent Sam Hoyle.

He said the officers went to the address to arrest Pita Rangi Te Kira who removed an electronic monitoring bracelet and fled a bail address in Hawke's Bay.

He is facing 11 charges including dishonesty, driving offences and violent offending.

Supt Hoyle said Te Kira is understood to have fired the single shot that killed the dog.

One other person was in house, and police are speaking to them.

Police are warning the public to avoid the area as they continue their hunt for Te Kira, who they believe is armed.

Gazza was the seventh police dog to be shot dead and the 24th to be killed on duty.

"Police dog teams are close-knit family right across police, they do amazing work for us each and every day," Supt Hoyle said.

Gazza and his handler Constable Josh Robertson are due to feature in the upcoming series of the TV show Dog Squad.

Gazza was choked by an offender after tracking him for 3.5km through Wainuiomata early last year.

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