Welcome Bay residents have described a scary night of confusion and panic after a mystery gunman shot one of their neighbours in the head.
The gunman fired a shotgun twice through a closed glass door and hit a man sitting watching television inside his home. The blasts sprayed pellets near his child's bed.
The shooting in Meander Drive on Monday about 9pm has been described by police as "clearly a targeted attack".
The 43-year-old victim suffered minor injuries and was treated at Tauranga Hospital. Members of the armed offenders squad were at the hospital during his treatment.
Armed police swooped on the area as the victim's shocked neighbours realised the loud bang they heard was not a car backfiring. Instead, someone with a shotgun was on the loose.
A neighbour, who spoke on condition she was not named, told the Bay of Plenty Times the shots sounded "like a loud explosion" and she went to check what it was: "When I looked down from our deck I could see a bunch of people at my neighbour's house, maybe five or six people, running all over the place in a panic."
She said when she went outside and walked around the corner she saw about six police officers, with police dogs, had surrounded the house and more police soon joined them.
"When I asked a police officer what happened he told me someone had been shot but the man's life wasn't at risk. We don't know the man very well because we only moved here into the street in December but it's horrible. It was quite scary for me, my mum and brother," she said.
Another neighbour said she and her partner knew the victim well having lived in the street for a couple of years and her child and the victim's daughter often played together.
She said she was cooking dinner when she heard a loud bang, and at first thought it was car backfiring but then realised it was a gunshot.
"I didn't go over to the house but my partner did, but from where I was I could see it all going down and there were heaps of cops everywhere, some carrying guns.
"I think this [the shooting] is bull****. It's horrible to feel uncomfortable in your own neighbourhood and makes me feel very worried as this is normally a very quite street. I hope the police catch who ever did this very quickly," the neighbour said.
Another resident who had only moved into the area four weeks ago but did not wish to be identified said it was a "very scary' introduction to the neighbourhood.
"We all definitely heard the loud bang but I thought was a car backfiring at first but once we all looked down towards my neighbour's house we knew it was a gun shot ... It was very scary, and we all stayed inside to wait for others to come outside before we did," she said.
Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner, head of the Tauranga CIB, said the potential for "something quite traumatic" to have occurred was real.
Some of the pellets landed in and around the bed of a young child who normally lives at the address, which was of particular concern to police. Fortunately the child, aged 6 or 7, was not at home.
"It was clear from speaking to the victim, examining the scene and talking to residents that this was a concerted effort to cause serious injury. He [the victim] was considerably fortunate to come away with relatively minor injuries, and it is only by sheer luck that a young child wasn't hurt in the process," Mr Turner said.
The victim's house had remained under police guard for most of yesterday and it is unclear when the victim, who will need follow-up medical treatment, is likely to return home.
Mr Turner said police were keen to speak to anyone who may have been in the southern end of Meander Drive or the surrounding alleys and streets between 8pm and 9pm on Monday night.
Around the time of the shooting a man with a dog may have possibly run past the victim's house and he was particularly keen to speak to the runner, he said.
Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to call Tauranga police on 577 4300. Alternatively provide any information anonymously via Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.