A big manhunt on the police is underway in Whanganui after a shrieking shooting has left a man dead.
RNZ understands the victim, Kevin Ratana, 27, died around 9:30 in a house on Puriri Street in the suburb of Castlecliff. The police must still release his name.
Witnesses said that the offenders have fled on foot, and the police have called for extra support from all over the country while the hunt continues.
Dozens of patched Mongrel Mob members gathered today in a church on the edge of the cordon.
Kyle lives across the street and was at home when the shooting took place.
"Yes, I saw it, I was just painting a picture I heard the first shot, I looked out the window and saw some guys running down the road, so I went to my cousin and then I heard another few shots, so I took him to the hallway, and then I looked out the window and they were gone.
"Then about two minutes later, this lady started screaming for the ambulance," he said.
Kyle said he made sure his nephew was okay before he looked out the window again.
"I was pretty sure I saw a broken window in the house and a guy was shot in his head on his front yard, I'm pretty sure," he said.
Nearby schools and early childcare centers were closed for the day.
A large piece on the corner of Puriri Street was blocked and armed agents have been guarding it ever since.
Locals report that the armed police last night spent their belongings combed.
Just on the road at the local Sumaya San-a dairy, it said it was frightening.
"Yes, it's pretty scary, but the police were here yesterday and all those with the Harness Harness and things, the police are over.
"People when they come to the store tell us what's going on, what I've heard so far is the man who was shot, his wife was with him, so it was pretty sad because she just sat there. cry when he was just shot, "she said.
The police still have to identify the victim, but friends and family have appointed him to Kevin Ratana on social media.
His body was removed from the scene at noon today.
The police have set up an extensive hunt for the offenders – bringing in officers from New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Wellington.
They said that the victim and the perpetrators were gang members, who were known to each other, and the police.
Garry Battesby, manager of street liquor store, had his own theories about the shooting.
"Mongrel Mob has probably come into Black Power territory, as far as I can tell."
He said the shooting had shaken the community and that business had been slow since it happened.
It's not the first time something like that has changed the community, just over 10 years ago a 2-year-old was shot in a drive-by-house.
Whanganui's acting mayor Jenny Duncan said the community was traumatized but that the public was not at risk.
"Our main response was that our thoughts were with the affected family and community and that we want to make sure they are fully supported during this period," she said.
"Look, this is a one-off event, it was very unexpected, we are a lively, small city that does not have a gang problem anymore than anywhere else."
"We only want to assure them that the police know what they are doing, that they are strongly represented here and that the matter is under control," she said.