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Headline: Unarmed officers disarm threatening Waikato gunman

Monday, 9 March 2015 – 2:17pm

While commending her staff for a job well done following an armed standoff with a man in the North Waikato overnight, a senior Waikato Police officer said relatives who had been drinking with him need to reflect on their role in the incident.

North Waikato Area Response Manager, Senior Sergeant Gill Meadows, said two officers were called to a Glen Massey property about 10.35pm following reports of a man yelling and acting aggressively.

“Police arrived at a rural Waingaro Rd property and were advised by relatives that a 36-year-old man was upset and that he was in a small batch behind the main dwelling.

“As they approached the front door of the batch the unarmed officers were confronted by a man wielding a long barrelled firearm and had to dive for cover. Able to talk their attacker down, the officers were unaware their calls for backup on their radios went unheard due to poor radio coverage in the area.”

Ms Meadows said as the offender put his firearm on the ground and raised his arms in the air one of the officers approached him but the man went to reach for his gun again.

“The officer got between the offender and the gun and was arresting the man when a struggle began.

“Handcuffing the offender, the officer was able to get the attention of his partner and the pair were able to take him to their patrol car where he assaulted one of the officers again.”

Ms Meadows said the incident was currently being reviewed and the actions of the officer who disarmed the offender are being forwarded for the appropriate internal recognition.

“One of the other things that has been identified as a risk from last night is that we had a group of adults who provided a man with existing head and mental health issues alcohol with nearly tragic results.

“In addition, this man also had access to firearms which in this case was discovered to be a loaded air rifle. While the offender’s intoxication and health issues could be considered mitigating circumstances in what occurred, the actions of those drinking with him can not.”

Ms Meadows said Police are yet to decide what, if any further action will be taken.