Former cop says fatal shooting highlights need for 'ready access' to guns

A 24-year-old man will appear in the Waitakere District Court Saturday, charged with the murder of the police officer gunned down in suburban west Auckland on Friday morning.

Police charged the man last night with multiple serious offences including murder, attempted murder and dangerous driving causing injury.

They earlier said they were talking to "two persons of interest" and had recovered a firearm.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster has described the fatal shooting as a "fast-moving, unpredictable and tragic event" which has left the whole force in shock. 

A scene guard remained in place at the Massey address overnight.

Police have not ruled out further people being charged.

Expressions of grief are pouring in for the family of the victim. 

Former Snr Sgt Luke Shadbolt said the shooting raises the questions about whether police should be armed in the future.

"This situation highlights the need for police officers to receive really good training, and have ready access to firearms when they need them." 

A trial of the country's first armed police officers was scrapped after an investigation showed they were used most often for traffic stops instead of armed offenders or serious crime.