A gunman killed two people and injured six others at a construction site in central Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday.
The shooter, identified as the sole assailant, was later found dead on the upper levels of the site. The incident, though alarming, has been contained, and the authorities have confirmed that there is no national security risk.
The shooting took place during the opening day of the Women’s World Cup, which is being co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. Despite the unsettling event, New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins reassured the public that there was no identified political or ideological motive behind the attack and emphasised that the soccer tournament would proceed as planned.
“This is a scary situation for Aucklanders on their Thursday morning commute to work. Please stay at home, avoid travel into the city centre,” said Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown, expressing concern for the safety of the public.
Douglas Emhoff, the husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris and a part of the presidential delegation attending the World Cup’s opening ceremony, was confirmed to be safe, according to the US embassy.
Police acted swiftly in response to the incident, cordoning off several streets in Auckland and canceling ferry services into the city, while buses were detoured to maintain public safety. Authorities reported that the shooter had a pump-action shotgun and had initially moved through the building site before containing himself within the elevator shaft.
Despite the tragic event, the focus remains on the safety of the teams and visitors for the Women’s World Cup. The US national team, which was staying in Auckland, confirmed that all players and staff were accounted for and safe.
As the investigation continues, further details about the shooting and the injuries sustained are expected to emerge. The authorities are working diligently to provide updates to the public and address any concerns.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families affected by this tragic event,” said a local resident, reflecting the sentiment of many who are mourning the loss and hoping for a swift recovery for those injured.
Authorities are urging the public to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and to be vigilant while ensuring everyone’s safety.