Kaiapoi locals in fear after two gang shootings in Canterbury

Christchurch locals say they fear for their safety in tit-for-tat gang warfare.

A recent double shooting has led to an order for frontline police to arm themselves, with reports a gang member is fighting for his life in Christchurch Hospital.

The incident unfolded early Monday morning in Kaiapoi, where police have cordoned off properties on two streets. 

"This is unusual absolutely, unusual and very shocking to us," Kaiapoi resident Kent Huzen says.

Police were called to an address at 3:30am on Monday where a man with serious gunshot injuries had gone looking for help.

Shortly after, two people took a second man, who had been shot in the arm, to Christchurch Hospital.

The two who dropped him off are now in police custody, but so far no one has been charged. 

The incident was unsettling for neighbouring residents like Huzen, who woke to armed offenders at the end of his driveway.

"It is scary, obviously it is very scary. We have little children and older citizens all over the place. We never experienced things like this before, that is the main concern."

It's the second violent incident in Christchurch in recent days - 46-year-old Kayne Wayman died on New Year's Day after being dropped off at hospital. 

On Monday, police charged a fourth person with his murder. 

Both incidents are believed to be linked to gangs. Newshub understands the man fighting for his life after Monday's shooting is the son of a prominent gang member.

Following the recent incidents, Canterbury police have been ordered to arm themselves while on the job, temporarily.

"I'm glad they're armed because they need to be, and they're dealing with gangs too," Kaiapoi resident Suzie Sullivan says.

Canterbury police will remain armed until those responsible for the shooting are located.

While police say those involved in the incident are known to each other and there is no risk to the wider public, for residents, it's still a little too close to home.

"The gangs seem to be getting a wee bit out of control in different areas in Christchurch but to hear of a double shooting that close to where we live," Sullivan says.

The tight-knit community are in shock, but are doing what they can to support each other.

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