Northland gunmen not found as armed police search Matauri Bay Rd property

Armed police are searching a property on Matauri Bay Rd, believed to be connected to an incident this morning on State Highway 11 where a police officer was shot at.

Members of the Whangārei-based elite armed police unit have been gathering at the intersection of Matauri Bay Rd and Hikurua Rd since 10.50am.

At 11.20am, five Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) officers backed by regular armed police drove up a dirt access road and a driveway a few hundred metres away on Matauri Bay Rd. They were joined shortly afterwards by two more carloads of AOS officers from Whangārei.

It is understood the men they were looking for were not at the address but police are continuing to search the property and an adjoining area of bush for evidence.

The operation is understood to be related to an incident which occurred in the area last night but which was reported this morning.

Police say around 4.13am today a car pulled out in front of a police vehicle and stopped in the middle of the road on State Highway 11 near the Puketona Junction with State Highway 10.

Before the officer could get out of the patrol car, two men got out of their car and aimed guns at him, Northland district commander Superintendent Tony Hill said.

The officer immediately retreated but one shot was fired at the vehicle which shattered the windscreen.

The officer was not harmed and quickly left the scene and called for backup.

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