A man with gang links had a knife to a woman’s throat when he was shot dead by police in Wellington, the region’s police commander says.

Police at scene of Newlands incident.Police at scene of Newlands incident. (Source: 1News)

The event unfolded on Tuesday afternoon in Newlands after officers were called to a “family harm incident”.

The man was shot after he threatened officers and attempted to barricade himself inside a Kingsbridge Place house with a woman.

Acting Wellington District Commander Inspector Tracey Thompson said on Wednesday officers had been “confronted” by a man threatening the woman and a young child.

Although the young child was able to leave the house, “voice appeals” to the man were not successful.

Man shot dead by police in Wellington had gang links, police say

Acting Wellington District Commander Inspector Tracey Thompson said officers had grave concerns for a woman’s safety before shooting the man dead. (Source: 1News)

Thompson said officers then saw through a window that the man had a knife to the woman’s throat. A number of shots were then fired at him. Despite receiving immediate medical attention, he died a short time later.

She said several times during a press conference officers were “gravely concerned” for the woman’s safety.

Thompson said she couldn’t at this stage say how many shots were fired or how many officers had fired. She also couldn’t say how much time had passed between officers trying to negotiate with the man and shooting him.

She said discharging a firearm is not a decision any officer takes lightly.

The woman was found with non-life-threatening injures and was treated at the scene, Thompson said.

A man wearing a King Cobra patch approaches police in Newlands.A man wearing a King Cobra patch approaches police in Newlands. (Source: 1News)

Thompson said the man’s name is not being released while his whānau are notified.

She did confirm the man had “gang connections” but refused to say anymore.

Two men wearing King Cobra gang patches had confronted police at the cordon on Tuesday.

Thompson confirmed “associates” of the man had been at the scene and were “grieving for their friend”.

She said officers had “engaged in conversation with them” and had addressed the issues the pair had.

“We resolved what we needed to last night,” she remarked.

Thompson said the investigation into the incident is in its “early stages”.