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NEW Zealand police have shot dead a wheelchair-bound suicidal gunman after he fired on police, hitting an officer in the head.
The 40-year-old paraplegic man fired more than 100 rounds from a shotgun and .308 "indiscriminately" down Wadhurst Place, Burnside, about 9pm last night police said.
North Canterbury District Commander, Inspector David Lawry, said the man suffered from a head injury and was understood to have been drinking.
He said the man had contacted his family earlier in the day saying he was suicidal.
When contacted by a negotiating team, the man threatened police, Mr Lawry said.
Up to 40 residents were evacuated to the nearby Burnside High School. One neighbour hit by shotgun fire was taken to Christchurch hospital.
As the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) laid a cordon a squad member was hit in the head with a shotgun pellet, NZPA reported.
He was taken Christchurch Hospital with moderate injuries, St John Ambulance spokesman Ian Henderson said.
Police and paramedics confirmed the gunman was killed shortly after 10pm.
The gunman's immediate next of kin have been contacted but his name would not be released yet.
He said police "express their deepest sympathy to the family".