Please attribute to Police Commissioner Mike Bush
As a result of information from the public a search warrant was executed at a St Martins property late yesterday where police discovered a number of firearms.
The 54-year-old man sought in relation to these firearms has died following a serious incident in Christchurch this morning.
The man was located by Police in a stopped vehicle in the Richmond Park area at around 12:30am this morning.
The Police Negotiation Team spoke with the man over a number of hours. The Police helicopter and Armed Offenders Squad were in support during the negotiations.
At around 3.40am police approached the vehicle and discovered the man critically injured with what appeared to be a stab wound. A knife was located in the vehicle.
Immediate first aid was provided however the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The man’s vehicle was examined by the NZDF Explosive Ordnance Squad as a precaution and has been deemed safe. There were no firearms in the vehicle.
Members of the public who heard what they thought were explosions were hearing Police deploying gas at the scene.
A high priority investigation is underway to determine whether or not the deceased man posed a threat to the community. This will include further searches of Christchurch properties and interviews with family and associates.
At this time there is no evidence to suggest this person had any involvement in the attacks of 15 March, however this forms an important part of the investigation.
We are grateful to those who alerted police on this occasion and encourage people to remain vigilant. If you see something, say something. Call 111 immediately if you see anything of any concern.
There will be a continued Police presence in the Richmond Park and St Martins areas, as scene examinations continue. Police would like to thank residents in those areas for their cooperation.
The IPCA has been notified.
Issued by Police Media Centre