A notebook may well have saved the life of a policeman shot four times, a court has been told.
Neshanderan Rajgopaul is accused of attempting to murder Constable Jeremy Snow to protect a stash of methamphetamine and stolen goods in South Auckland in December 2009.
The trial began on Monday at the High Court in Auckland.
The Crown says Mr Snow and his partner spotted a car they thought was being broken into down a long driveway in Papatoetoe and went to investigate.
The policemen heard rustling in the bushes, which turned out to be Mr Rajgopaul trying to flee.
The Crown says Mr Snow gave chase and called out for the accused to stop but he instead spun round, dropped to one knee and fired up to seven times.
Crown prosecutor Rachael Reed told the court Mr Snow gave chase and called out for the accused to stop but he instead spun round, dropped to one knee and fired up to seven times.
Mr Snow was shot in both legs, an arm and his chest. Ms Reed says a notebook tucked inside his stab-proof vest was the only thing that prevented the bullet to his chest from penetrating.
The Crown has described the accused as a small-time drug-dealer with an arsenal of guns.
Mr Rajgopaul is also charged with assaulting three other people with a firearm in a separate incident.
A jury of seven women and four men has been selected for the trial, which is set down for three weeks.