A man who died last night after a shooting incident in Papatoetoe was shot by police three times.

He was Tangaru-Noere Turia, 34.

Police were called to a house in Avis Avenue about 5.40pm yesterday after a shot was fired through the window of a neighbouring home.

Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers said a member of the public called police and said they could see a man with a firearm.

Police, including Armed Offenders Squads and the Eagle helicopter, were deployed.

Rogers said police had made attempts to negotiate with Turia for hours to resolve the matter safely.

"At about 8.24pm, the man came out of the house with a shotgun, police repeatedly asked him to drop the firearm and he failed to do so."

She said Turia's behaviour continued to be erratic.

"He was then shot by police."

Turia was shot three times, she said.

St John Ambulance staff immediately administered advanced first aid before Turia was transported to Middlemore Hospital for surgery, where he died about 10.30pm, Superintendent Rogers said.

Several people were in the neighbouring house at the time of the incident. Turia was not known to them.

Turia was known to police and had active charges against him, Rogers said.

Rogers said the family who were in the house did not know the shooter.

"This was a really frightening incident for the residents in that location. Any event involving firearms is at the upper end of anything that our staff will deal with.

"It is the worst possible decision that a police officer has to make, to take someone's life."

People living near the scene of the shooting said nothing like this had ever happened before in the neighbourhood.

Sandy told RNZ she was feeling pretty shaken by last night's events.

"When I came home I did hear a big bang but I thought it was somebody's tires," she said.

"Later on I heard loud screaming, yelling, and then three gunshots as well... I was quite shaken and inside the home and in lockdown till evening."

She was frightened and concerned that someone dangerous could be out in the neighbourhood.

"I can't believe it's on such a big scale."

Another woman said she knew something serious was going on when she heard all the police cars coming down the street.

Evaloni was home with her children when it happened, and was shocked when she came outside last night and discovered her house was inside the cordon.

She heard the police helicopter and sirens, but did not hear any gunshots.

Poko was not home last night when it happened, but she said she got a call from her husband about it and he was quite shaken.

A police officer standing guard at a cordon in Papatoetoe after a man was shot by police.

Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Lotu Fuli said people were upset.

"Last night's incident was obviously shocking and very upsetting for the community. I know that people were concerned and there was a lot of online chatter about what had happened.

"Of course our hearts go out to those people in Papatoetoe because they are going through quite a lot."

Fuli said she hoped the shooting would not put people off going to get a Covid-19 test if they needed to.

"Today there is much more of a sense of calm and I'm hopeful that people won't be put off getting tested, doing what we have to do to get through this pandemic, because of last night."

Rogers said the man's family and police staff were being supported.

"Serious incidents such as this are really upsetting for all involved.

"As we've said before this really is a worst-case scenario for our staff who unfortunately were put into a position last night where they have had to use lethal force to ensure not only their safety but the safety of the wider community.

"We now also have a family who have lost a loved one and so we will do what we can to ensure they are well supported along with Victim Support."

Police association president Chris Cahill said it was a tragedy for everyone involved.

"It's something that everyone involved in will be affected for the rest of their lives. The police officers, the trauma they go through in something like this is great and they will always have to live with this. It's a tragedy for everyone."

Cahill said there would be a series of investigations including by the IPCA.

Earlier this morning, there was a significant police presence on the residential street, with officers stationed at each of the three cordons.

A cordon in Papatoetoe after a man was shot by police.

A cordon in Papatoetoe after a man was shot by police. Photo: RNZ / Sarah Robson

As well as half a dozen police cars, there was an incident command unit at the scene.

Residents were being escorted by officers to and from their properties.

A critical incident investigation has been launched and the IPCA notified.