What happens when police use pepper spray to defend themselves from an armed robber?

New Zealand police have been caught on camera using pepper spray and pepper balls to subdue a robber who had a gun in his hand.

The incident happened at a petrol station in the rural town of New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington on Monday afternoon.

The police were called to the station after the man approached a driver and demanded money from the car, according to the Wellington Herald.

The man, who police say was armed, fired a shot from a firearm and then took off.

Police fired pepper spray at him, which struck him in the head and caused minor injuries.

The robber was apprehended by a nearby business, and was charged with assault and assault with intent to rob, which carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The police have apologised for the incident and say the use of pepper spray was not justified.

Auckland’s Crown Law Enforcement Agency said the force would continue to work closely with local police to improve community safety.