Search warrants are being executed at houses in south Auckland as police investigate a ugly brawl that broke out at an Otara liquor shop on Tuesday.

The incident began when shop owners challenged a youth who entered the shop, apparently drunk, and began acting suspiciously.

The situation got out of control with more youths becoming involved leading to fighting in the streets with weapons including knives and a fence paling.

The shop owner was stabbed in the leg and three people ended up being treated in hospital.

Investigation head, Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Pizzini, said all had been discharged from hospital and among the injuries were cuts to the face and hand, a stab wound to the thigh and serious head injuries.

“Officers are interviewing witnesses, canvassing neighbours, locating weapons and suspects. Some search warrants are being executed,” he said.

Pizzini said it was concerning that people as young as 16 were roaming the streets heavily intoxicated and carrying knives.

“It was only yesterday (Chief Youth Court) Judge Becroft featured on the front page of the (New Zealand) Herald talking about the escalation in serious youth violence” he said.

A spokeswoman from the shop last night said the teens were probably not locals and were too drunk to know what they were doing.