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Rotorua man shot after spray, Tasers fail

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/07/2016

Rotorua police have shot a man twice in the stomach after he was waving a "four-foot slasher", and pepper spray and Tasers couldn't stop him.

The 35-year-old was taken to the local hospital following the shooting on busy Te Ngae Road early on Thursday afternoon.

He was later transferred via helicopter to Waikato Hospital, still in a critical condition.

Footage of the moment the man was shot was caught by a passing motorist and posted to the Kiwi Az Bro Facebook page. It was viewed at least 70,000 times by early on Thursday evening.

It was believed the man was affected by a substance, possibly methamphetamine, Bay of Plenty district commander, Superintendent Andy McGregor, told reporters afterwards.

After attacking a police car there were repeated requests to drop the slasher. He was pepper sprayed and then shot with the 50,000-volt Taser stun gun three times, but without effect.

"Following further warnings by police, an armed officer has then shot the man twice," Supt McGregor said.

There were no injuries to police.

It was concerning they had to resort to a potentially deadly method to stop the man, he said.

"He was acting in a very violent, aggressive manner and it may have been an effect of the substance as to why the Tasers weren't effective."

Supt McGregor denied the man was shot too soon, as he was walking towards a shopping centre and members of the public.

The man, a local, was known to police but Supt McGregor wasn't revealing any further details about him.

A former Royal New Zealand Air Force medic, a nurse and doctors from a nearby medical centre were reportedly among the first to join police on scene, with one saying he expected the man to live.

Another witness told the Rotorua Daily Post that police called for the man to "get on the ground" before the shots were fired.

A Rotorua house has since been cordoned off for further examination on Friday, and police are appealing for anyone with information or footage of the event to get in touch.

It's the second police shooting this week.

Nick Marshall, 36, was shot and killed during a police raid on a property in Hamilton on Tuesday night.

Police said the shooting was unavoidable as he presented a firearm at officers but his girlfriend Kendyl Eadie has said he wasn't armed or threatening.

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