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Taser used before shooting, police say

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 14/07/2016

Police shot a man on a street in Rotorua. © Facebook/KiwiAz Bro Police shot a man on a street in Rotorua.

A man shot by an officer in Rotorua had been pepper-sprayed and tasered before finally being shot twice, police say.

The man is now in Rotorua Hospital in a critical condition after undergoing surgery for two shots to the stomach.

The shooting, which happened at Te Ngae Road in Rotorua about 1pm yesterday, is the country's second police shooting in 48 hours.

At a news briefing, Bay of Plenty District Commander Superintendent Andy McGregor said a police officer saw the man wielding a four-foot-long slasher.

The officer asked him to put it down but he refused. The officer then moved back to his car to call for backup, and was hit with the slasher, police said.

Mr McGregor said, after multiple requests to drop the slasher, police pepper-sprayed the man, which had no effect; he was then tasered three times, also with no effect.

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

Police believed the man - who was known to them - was affected by a substance, possible methamphetamine, he said.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) had been notified.

Eyewitness accounts and video footage

A manager of a nearby bottle shop, Inder Singh, said earlier that he had seen a man waving some sort of rod, which he said looked like a car jack.

The man was told to be calm and get on the ground three or four times before police shot him twice, Mr Singh said. Police then took the man away. A lot of people saw the shooting as it happened at a busy shopping time, he said.

Another eyewitness, who did not want to be named, said he saw a man who he estimated was in his early 30s being helped by police before being loaded onto an ambulance.

Another person in the area, who also did not want to be named, said police had several of what looked like paramedic kits and had been looking after the man until ambulances arrived about 15 minutes later.

A video posted to Facebook apparently shows the moment the man was shot. In the one-and-a-half-minute clip, a person in a black top can be seen outside a shopping centre, with a police car with sirens blaring in the foreground.

The person in black has one arm raised above their head.

Two shots can be heard, and the person falls to the ground. The video later shows half a dozen officers and several police cars, gathered around a grass median between two lanes of traffic.

A police dog can also be seen.

Second police shooting in 48 hours

Today's incident is the second police shooting in 48 hours.

On Tuesday, Hamilton man Nick Marshall, 36, died after being shot by police during a drugs and weapons raid on a property in Frankton.

A scene examination was expected to take several days, and the IPCA had been notified.

The shooting prompted a criminal barrister to call for police to be given body cameras.

Police have shot and killed 31 people since 1941 - 21 of them since the 1990s.

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