Two killed, several injured in New Zealand shooting

Police officers stand guard near the site of a reported shooting on July 20, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand.  reuters
Police officers stand guard near the site of a reported shooting on July 20, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. reuters

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 lone attacker, was later found dead on the upper level of the site. Although the incident is worrying, it has been brought under control and the authorities have confirmed that there is no threat to national security.

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 disturbing incident, New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins reassured the public that there was no political or ideological motive behind the attack and insisted that the football tournament would go ahead as planned.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown expressed concern for the public’s safety, saying “This is a scary situation for Aucklanders going to work on Thursday morning. Please stay home, avoid traveling into the city centre.”

Douglas Emhoff, husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris and a member of the presidential delegation attending the opening ceremony of the World Cup, has been confirmed safe, according to the US Embassy.

Police responded swiftly to the incident, cordoning off several streets in Auckland and canceling ferry services into the city, while buses were rerouted to maintain public safety. Authorities said the shooter had a pump-action shotgun and walked through the construction site before barricading himself inside an elevator shaft.

Despite the tragic incident, the focus remains on the safety of teams and spectators for the Women’s World Cup. The US national team, based in Auckland, confirmed that all players and staff were safe.

More details about the shooting and injuries are expected to emerge as the investigation continues. Officials are working diligently to provide updates to the public and address any concerns.

A local resident said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families affected by this tragic incident.”

Officials are urging the public to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and to be vigilant while ensuring everyone’s safety.

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