A man killed two people after opening fire Thursday in a building in downtown Auckland, New Zealand. After a chase through the property, police also found the shooter’s body in an elevator shaft, according to authorities. The agents also reported five injuries. shooting It coincides with the start of the Women’s World Cup From New Zealand and Australia, whose first match will be held on Thursday evening in Auckland, the largest city in the country, between the local team and Norway.
The premier of the peripheral state, Chris Hepkins, confirmed that there was no threat to national security and that the tournament would go ahead as planned, although security had been increased. He also noted that the shooting appeared to be the work of one person and that the police were not looking for anyone else. “There was no specific political or ideological motive for the shooting,” Hipkins said during a televised news conference. Mayor Wayne Brown also confirmed that the shooting had nothing to do with the World Cup.
Acting Superintendent of Local Police, Sunny Patel, recounted, “The attacker moved across the building while unloading his weapon.” “As soon as he reached the upper floor, he barricaded himself in the elevator shaft. Our staff tried to talk to him. The man fired more bullets and was found dead shortly thereafter,” Patel said.
Gun violence is rare in New Zealand, which has tightened post-armed gun laws Kill 51 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch In 2019, in the country’s worst peacetime mass shooting. Government All semi-automatic weapons were banned Military style and other lethal weapons.
According to the same source, the details of the incident are still under investigation. What happened is understandably disturbing and we reassure the public. “The incident is under control and it is an isolated incident,” the officer confirmed. “We can also declare that this does not constitute a threat to national security,” he added. Police asked residents to stay away from the scene while the incident is being investigated. In the first few hours after that, many streets were cordoned off, all ferry services to the city were cancelled, and buses were told to change their route.
Auckland welcomed thousands of international players and tourists to the ninth Women’s World Cup, which was hosted by Australia and New Zealand. “Obviously we’d prefer it not start like this,” Hipkins told reporters. “What happened today will be acknowledged at the opening ceremony. But it is safe to go and we continue to encourage the whole community to come.”
The shooter has not been officially identified, but it is believed to be a 24-year-old man who was working on the construction site where the shooting took place, Police Commissioner Andrew Koster told a news conference. This person was the subject of a house arrest sentence, but was exempt from working on site. “He is primarily known for his history of domestic violence. There is no indication that he took a higher level of risk than that indicated by that history,” Koster added.
Soccer teams from New Zealand, Norway, Italy, the United States, Vietnam and Portugal were in the city when the shooting took place. “FIFA has been informed that this is an isolated incident unrelated to football operations and that tonight’s opening match at Eden Park will go ahead as planned,” FIFA said in a statement sent to Reuters.
The shooting took place near the hotel of the Norwegian football team, Auckland city centre, and many players took to social media to report their safety. “Everything seems calm and we are preparing normally for tonight’s game,” Norway captain Maren Milde told Norwegian newspaper Verdnes Gang during the police operation.
Italy-US selection training was delayed because the players were unable to leave the hotel. The US embassy said Douglas Imhoff, husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris, who is leading the presidential delegation to New Zealand for the World Cup opening ceremony, is safe.
The US women’s soccer team, currently based in Oakland, said in a statement that all players and staff are safe. A spokesman for the American team, Aaron Heifetz, explained that the players were getting up for breakfast inside the hotel when the accident occurred. Our security immediately contacted the local authorities and the State Department. We immediately decided everyone was safe and accountable and from then on we had to wait.” US attacker Lynn Williams said the incident she and her comrades had dealt with “many times” in the US, where gun violence is common. The feeling of “let’s unite”. We still have work to do. But also to realize that lives were lost that is very real and devastating,” said Williams.