It was unclear whether he had been killed or wounded.
It came just hours after the government said there had been a failed coup attempt against the head of regional government in Amhara, one of Ethiopia’s nine federal states.
The Horn of Africa nation’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has been attempting to spearhead political reforms amid widespread unrest.
Since coming to power in April last year, Mr Abiy has pushed to open up the once isolated country.
His government has released political prisoners, removed bans on political parties and prosecuted officials accused of gross human rights abuses.
However, ethnic violence has flared up in many areas, including Amhara, where the regional government was led by Ambachew Mekonnen.
Residents in Amhara’s capital Bahir Dar reported gunfire in some neighbourhoods and some roads had been closed off.