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Stand-off with Rarotonga gunman ends

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/10/2016

A stand-off between Cook Islands police and an escaped prisoner believed to have fatally shot two people has ended.

Police won't say what's happened to gunman Chris Rimamotu, 41, who has been on the run in Rarotonga and had been in a stand-off with officers at a Titikaveka on Thursday morning.

But they say several hours of negotiations have ended and "it is now safe for the community in regards to this matter".

"This is still a live investigation, so there will not be any release of information until the investigation is completed."

The Cook Islands News has reported Rimamotu is believed to be dead.

Police had been searching in the Vaimaanga area, in the south, after two people were shot and killed on Wednesday.

A boy, reported to be Rimamotu's nine-year-old son who had been kidnapped, is safe and well, police said.

Rimamotu was believed to have been in jail on abduction charges.

The Cook Islands are a popular tourist destination for Kiwis. The country is self-governing but New Zealand has responsibility for its external affairs and defence.

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