A NZ army tank at the scene of the siege
The armed siege in Kawerau is over and the shooter taken into police custody.
Rhys Warren, 27, was arrested this morning after 4 Armed Offenders Squad officers were shot during a cannabis bust yesterday.
International press report tanks, armoured vehicle used
New Zealand Police have confirmed a stand-off at the Bay of Plenty is over after the arrest of a gunman suspected of shooting four police officers during a drug operation.
A no-fly zone had been in place around the rural property in New Zealand where the man had been holed up in a tense stand-off with police since Wednesday.
It began after police were shot during a cannabis operation on Wednesday. The New Zealand Defence Force sent a tactical lift helicopter and three light armoured vehicles to assist police.
The mother of the suspect said her son was terrified of surrendering, but he was prepared to give himself up, if his family could accompany him but police refused the request.
In a statement police said the stand-off had been resolved safely after an individual surrendered to Police a short time ago…
New Zealand’s gun politics still an issue
There are believed to be in excess of 1.1 million unlicensed firearms in circulation in New Zealand. Police have no idea about the actual number since there is no requirement to licence guns. The Kawerau siege is guaranteed to spark debate over the sale and use of firearms and bring about the usual demands for stricter controls. However, despite the lessons learned in the fatal 2009 Napier armed siege, there appears to be little desire or ability to introduce them. Read more about gun politics in NZ here – gun politics
2009 Napier Armed Siege
A NZLAV used in the Napier siege
The Kawerau siege has similarities to the 2009 Napier siege where one officer was killed, and three other people (2 police, 1 neighbour) shot while police were attempting to execute a cannabis search warrant at 41 Chaucer Road, Napier.
“Over one hundred police, including Armed Offenders Squad
and Special Tactics Group
members, were brought in to cordon and contain the gunman, who was identified as a former territorial soldier. A siege lasting over forty hours developed, during which police officers made repeated attempts under fire to retrieve the body of the slain officer. With the assistance of two New Zealand Army NZLAVs, they were successful at about 5 pm on 8 May.]
At around midday on 9 May police found the gunman dead inside the master bedroom of the house.”
“Jan Molenaar, 51, was born of Ngāti Kahungunu extraction
and grew up in Napier, where he went to Nelson Park Primary School, Napier Intermediate School and William Colenso College.
In the 1980s he spent six years in the territorial armoured corps of the Hawke’s Bay and Wellington Regiment. Molenaar is said to have been a loner, and to have missed his brother, who had killed himself having experimented with the drug methamphetamine.” source