An incident that left one man dead outside of Christchurch over the weekend involved a firearm and has a "backdrop of gang associations".
That's according to police, who confirmed the information on Sunday as a homicide investigation continues.
The body of a 28-year-old local man was found at Charing Cross, outside of Christchurch, on Saturday.
Det Insp Corrie Parnell said an altercation took place between two men, and on Sunday confirmed the incident involved a firearm.
He said the person or group responsible are still at large and possibly armed, but was confident the public was safe due to large amount of resources he had deployed.
There is also a "backdrop of gang associations", and Det Insp Parnell said gang retaliation was always possible. Several King Cobra gang members were stationed at the scene on Sunday.
Forensic investigators are currently working at the scene on Grange Rd and Telegraph Rd in the Selwyn district.
The investigation is expected to extend throughout the week, and locals will see a heavy presence of police in the area.
A number of cars and properties have been searched as part of the investigation.
A post mortem examination is likely to occur later today, and police are providing support to the family and friends of the victim.
Anyone with information is urged to call Christchurch police on (03) 363 4700, or anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.