Police arrest alleged gunman Caleb Kovaleski

Caleb Kovaleski (Supplied)
Caleb Kovaleski (Supplied)

Police have "peacefully resolved" a stand-off with alleged gunman Caleb Kovaleski where he has been brought into custody.

Police confirmed they'd arrested the 25-year-old after Cloverlea, a Palmerston North suburb, was put in lockdown for more than 30 hours.


Manawatu Area Commander Inspector Sarah Stewart says Kovaleski surrendered himself to them around 4:15pm.

"I am very pleased to confirm the situation has been resolved safely and without further incident," says Commander Inspector Stewart.

"Caleb was located, he surrendered to two police and, to the best of my knowledge, he's now in prison."

Commander Inspector Stewart could confirm that Kovaleski will face charges that relate to a firearm, but couldn't say if there would be any other charges.

All cordons have been lifted, meaning residents can soon return to their homes.

Insp Stewart thanked the community for their patience, assistance and support. She also thanks the Maori Wardens, the Highbury Marae and others who helped those who'd had their lives disrupted by the incident.

"Our focus will now turn to facilitating the safe return of people to their homes, and on the criminal investigation that will follow," she says.

Scene examinations will continue at the property involved.

While the manhunt was ongoing, police said Kovaleski was armed and dangerous.

But his grandmother told Newshub he's not a bad person, he's just made bad choices. And she called for him to give himself up.

"Please I'm asking you, please give yourself up think of everybody that loves you and cares about you," she said through tears.

His adoptive father also pleaded for him to come out peacefully

Newshub also spoke to Kovaleski's mother, who told us her son had a history of substance abuse and was in a troubled relationship with the mother of his five-month-old child.

Earlier Kovaleski posted on Facebook:

"The system's f***ed, I want the police to know, all you had to do was let me speak to one person."

One man told Newshub he'd spent time behind bars with Kovaleski, who was convicted of burglary.

On Friday police said Kovaleski had been wanted for a number of arrest warrants when he evaded them, but wouldn't specify what they were for, what type of gun he was carrying, and whether or not he was in a confined area.

They also pleaded for him to hand himself in but would not say whether there would be a point at which proactive action would be taken to disarm him.

Residents forced to stay out of the cordoned off area were fed outside the Cloverlea Tavern this afternoon, and some were later let back in after a frustrating wait.

"It's quite daunting, I don't know if I'd prefer to be on the outside or the inside at the moment," said resident Vince Pope.

The plea from residents and Caleb's family was the same - let it end.

On Friday afternoon at around 4:30pm, that's exactly what happened. Police peacefully resolved the standoff, arresting Kovaleski and taking him into custody.

A small area is still cordoned off while police gather evidence but they say it will likely be reopened tomorrow afternoon.