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Officer shot dead during call out

Published: 7:06PM Friday July 05, 2002

A Feilding police officer has died after being shot during an armed incident in Manawatu on Friday afternoon.

Police say they found the constable dead at the scene after using teargas to bring a 16-year-old gunman out of a house where he was holed up after the shooting. The youth has been taken into custody and police say he will be charged with murder and attempted murder.

ONE News understands the two police officers were chasing the Palmerston North teenager when he went into the house.

Armed police stood guard after two officers were shot by the youth at around 1.30pm Friday while making inquiries at a rural home in Awahuri.

One female officer was shot in the leg, but managed to escape and was taken to Palmerston North Hospital.

But the male constable was less fortunate and grave fears were held for him as he lay with gunshot wounds to the head and stomach.

A massive operation swung into place when police were informed of the incident. Ambulances and helicopters were called to the scene, along with police from throughout the central and lower North Island.

For much of the afternoon, police also feared for two others holed up at gunpoint by the teenager.

Central District Commander Mark Lamas said police were as concerned for the safety of the two people inside the house as they were for their colleague.

An eyewitness said the young suspect had threatened the daughter.

"I think he has lost the plot the young fella," she told ONE News.

A special tactics group was rushed from Wellington as police were desperate to coax the 16-year-old out while their colleague lay critically injured outside.

Lammas said the police aim was to calm the young man down and get him to comply with their requests.

The first progress came with the release of the two hostages.