Shots and ar­rests in Massey

North Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - AMY BAKER

Two men and a wo­man have been ar­rested by armed po­lice af­ter an in­ci­dent in West Auck­land where shots were heard.

Wit­nesses from re­tail shops in the Royal Heights shop­ping com­plex in Massey on July 11 said they heard three to four gun­shots and es­ti­mated the or­deal lasted around two hours.

A staff mem­ber from Royal Heights Phar­macy said, af­ter hear­ing shots, she only went out of the shop once she re­alised po­lice were at the scene. ‘‘It was re­ally quick, ac­tu­ally. I was sur­prised it hap­pened as fast as it did [that po­lice ar­rived].’’ Out­side, she said she no­ticed two flat tyres and a bro­ken win­dow on one of the cars. She said there had been an in­crease of un­savoury char­ac­ters hang­ing around the area of late.

An­other re­tailer said, when he heard the shots, he locked him­self out the back of the shop.

A po­lice op­er­a­tion, in­volv­ing the armed of­fend­ers squad, was com­pleted by 3.30pm.

The two men, aged 39 and 48, and a 40-year-old wo­man would ap­pear in the Waitakere Dis­trict Court on Wed­nes­day on a charge of con­spir­acy to com­mit ag­gra­vated rob­bery, po­lice said.

‘‘Po­lice would like to thank the com­mu­nity for their pa­tience as the op­er­a­tion was car­ried out.’’

Last month, Po­lice Min­is­ter Paula Ben­nett vis­ited the shop­ping com­plex to an­nounce a fund to help shop­keep­ers, dairy own­ers and other busi­nesses bat­tling a spate of ag­gra­vated rob­beries.

She said she was ‘‘ab­so­lutely dis­gusted’’ by the in­ci­dent on Tues­day.

‘‘My thoughts are with these shop own­ers,’’ she said. ‘‘This is ex­actly why I an­nounced the $1.8 mil­lion dol­lar pack­age to in­crease safety at small in­de­pen­dent owned busi­nesses.’’

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