Man dead after police find gun stash in Christchurch
CHRISTCHURCH residents woke to the sound of loud bangs as armed police dragged a man from a damaged car in an otherwise quiet suburban street overnight.
The wanted 54-year-old man was stopped in a car by officers about 12.30am this morning, after a raid of a property in the suburb of Saint Martin turned up a number of firearms.
Following hours of negotiations, the man was found with stab wounds and died at the scene, police said.
Now, New Zealand police are probing whether the discovery of a stash of guns and a man's death following a stand-off has any links to a terror attack on mosques in Christchurch that claimed 50 lives.
Poulton Ave resident Joanna Qereqeretabua told the New Zealand Herald she woke around 3.30am to shouts of, "Get out of the car!"
Shethere were three loud bangs and a robot device then approached the vehicle about 4am and appeared to shatter the windows.
"It was very scary after what's happened here (in Christchurch)," she said.
Police say the witness reports of "explosions" were hearing police using gas at the scene.
There is no evidence so far he was involved in the March 15 shooting that killed 50, but the matter is being looked into, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.
"This forms an important part of the investigation," he said. "A high-priority investigation is under way to determine whether or not the deceased man posed a threat to the community." Police found a knife but no guns in the car. Defence Force explosives squads checked the vehicle as a precaution but declared it safe.
There will be a continued police presence in the Richmond Park and St Martins areas, as scene examinations continue.
Police said they had conducted the search after a tip-off from the public.