Te Tawhero Dolphy Kohu worried about his grandson's safety

Police are still on the hunt for five suspects who shot at them and stole a police car before disappearing in the Central North Island.

It's understood two young men have been arrested at a property on Miro St, the same house that was raided earlier on.

The drama began in the early hours this morning when two police officers started chasing a car thought to contain three men and two women near Whanganui.

The prime suspect is 23-year-old Te Tawhero Dolphy Kohu.  A warrant for his arrest was issued six weeks ago.

Te Kāea spoke to Dolphy Kohu's grandfather and namesake who gave a personal account of his grandson.

Te Tawhero Dolphy Kohu raised his namesake since he was 13.

He says, “When he was growing up he was fine.  I don't know why he's turned out like this.  When he was young he was good.”

Police say they started chasing a car at around 2:30am this morning near Whanganui.  They say they tried to stop the vehicle an hour later near Ohakune but the suspects rammed a police car.

Towns in the Central North Island were placed on lockdown with police asking people in Ohakune, Waiouru and Raetihi to stay indoors while the incident played out.

Raitihi Primary School teacher, Venus Ihakara says, “We were surprised because last night we thought it was safe to walk the streets, nothing bad happens here. Now we're sticking together, we're a tight knit community.”

Dolphy Kohu has a history of similar offending.  He was jailed after he shot at a family in Whanganui in 2012.

Kohu says, “He's my grandchild.  I don't want to talk about what he's done.  The most important thing for me is that he's my grandchild.”

Dolphy Kohu was deemed unlikely to re-offend by the Parole Board after he was released from prison in June.  But today he was the subject of a huge police hunt.

Police say the alleged offenders are considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. 

Police are warning those travelling not to pick up hitchhikers and to report any suspicious activity to them by dialing 111.