Cops mount armed response


Armed policed swooped in Queenstown yesterday after a man walked out of a property with a weapon.

A police statement said a 20-year-old man left a Kawarau Place house, in Frankton, with the weapon after a domestic incident.

An area around the street was cordoned off, and Remarkables Primary School and nearby child-care centres were notified.

The man was apprehended near the house a short time later and arrested without incident.

He would appear in court on “various charges”, the statement said.

Senior Sergeant Phil Hamlin, of Dunedin, said the incident was “short-lived”.

“Nobody was harmed or threatened, but due to the proximity to schools and kindergartens, they were locked down.”

Remarkables Primary principal Debbie Dickson says in an emailed statement the school went into lockdown at 12.25pm for five minutes on the instruction of police.

“All students were quickly secured in the classrooms as per standard school lockdown procedures.”

The police were happy with the speed of the lockdown, Dickson says.

The father of two pupils at the school, Dion Syme, said he did not hear about the incident until he picked up his children from the school later in the day.

His elder daughter told him she was “a little bit scared” during the lockdown.

The children were kept inside their classrooms, and when the incident was over, were told what had happened, Syme says.

He and his wife had not seen an email from the school informing them of the incident because they were working.

Although initially concerned he would have been oblivious to the incident had it been more serious, he realises there’s a limit to the school’s ability to inform all parents straight away.

The situation appears to have been well-handled, and he’s grateful school staff quickly took “precautionary measures”.

However, not all child-care facilities close to the incident area were informed by police.

Remarkables Park Early Childhood Centre operations manager Fran MacNamara says she only found out when a parent told her police had blocked off a nearby road.

“We’re wondering why we weren’t told.”

She intended to contact police to ask why.

The centre is only a few hundred metres from Kawarau Pl, where the incident started.

Otago Daily Times