Person shot dead at Seventh Day Adventist Community Church in Auckland

A community is devastated after a person was killed after a shooting outside a church in south Auckland. 

Police confirmed an investigation is underway following a shooting outside a church on Puhinui Road, Manukau. They said the offender is currently still on the loose.

Newshub understands the shooting sparked a lockdown at the Seventh Day Adventist Community Church where the church's Christmas service was about to commence, involving a performance by children. Everyone has since been let out.

Police said they received a report at 10am that a person had been shot. The first officers on the scene administered urgent first aid but the person died.

Detective Inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Va'aelua said the shooting appears to be an isolated incident, as the victim was deliberately targeted.

Police are following positive lines of enquiry to locate the offender and the people who were present at the church are assisting Police with their investigation, Det Insp Va'aelua said.

Police are also collecting CCTV footage from the church and at this early stage, this is "proving to be very helpful".

Anyone who has information that could assist with enquiries is asked to contact Police on 105 and reference file number 221217/6485.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Hato Hone St John said it responded to the incident with two ambulances, one manager and two rapid response vehicles. St John was not required for transportation.

Footage from the scene shows multiple Mongrel Mob members outside the church.

Police at the scene.
Police at the scene. Photo credit: Newshub.

Phillip Barber, who was inside the church at the time of the incident, told Newshub rumours started going around that something was happening in the church car park.

He said the service was delayed and they were told to stay inside.

"It's shocking that someone could do that on a church property," Barber said.

Arjang Payrow told Newshub he was arriving at the church to watch his three-year-old son's Christmas performance but wasn't let in.

"I was very upset that I couldn't get in. I was shocked that there were police everywhere," Payrow said.

Payrow has since been reunited with his son.

Richard Seyb, who was running late to the church service, said when he arrived he wasn't let in. Seyb said he texted his daughter who was inside the church to see if she was okay.

"There's been a serious incident and a man has been killed here outside the church. We are in lockdown. I will fill you in later. There are people in tears," Seyb quoted his daughter's text.

Seyb said he is on the border of tears himself as he waited outside to be reunited with his daughter.

He said it is unusual to see crime in the area, especially around the church.

"It's very upsetting, to be quite honest, it's never happened before," Seyb said. "It's horrifying."

A worried woman, whose two-year-old grandchild and daughter-in-law were inside the church, was in tears after she heard that someone had been shot.

"I love him," Taraneh Pirouzi told Newshub.

Shelly Munaaf, who lives next door to the church, said she woke up to see police and ambulances swarming the area.

"It's so scary. I choose this neighbourhood because I knew there was a church. Church is a holy place it can't happen like that. People have to be a bit more sensitive."

She said she is scared to send her children out, who usually play soccer in the church's yard.