PHOTO: The gunman was armed with a pump action shotgun, the Prime Minister said. 1NEWS
Emergency Services Respond to Shooting at Auckland High-Rise Building
Gunman Dead and Three Others Killed in Major Police Operation
Incident Occurred Ahead of Women’s World Cup Opening Match
Emergency services were dispatched to a high-rise building in Auckland, where a tragic shooting incident unfolded, resulting in three fatalities, including the gunman. The attack occurred just before the opening match of the Women’s World Cup in the Auckland CBD.
Timeline of the Incident
The 24-year-old shooter, who was wearing an ankle monitor, entered a building on lower Queen Street around 7.20 am NZST on Thursday. At the time, about 100 tradesmen were inside the skyscraper, some of whom sought refuge on the building’s roof after police issued a shelter order.
Unfolding of the Tragedy
Shortly after 7 am, the gunman stormed the building near Britomart, causing fire alarms to sound and gunshots to ring out around 8 am. Witnesses reported seeing the armed man running up the stairs of the building “floor by floor.”
The shooter, aged 24, is also dead. He was on home detention for domestic violence and was subject to electronic monitoring via an ankle bracelet tracker. NEWSTALK ZB
New Zealand Prime Minister’s Response
In a press conference, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins revealed that the attacker was armed with a pump-action shotgun and had no apparent ideological or political motivation. He praised the courageous actions of the New Zealand police who risked their lives to protect others during the incident.
FIFA Women’s World Cup to Proceed as Planned
Despite the tragic event, Prime Minister Hipkins assured that the FIFA Women’s World Cup would continue as scheduled, emphasizing that the shooting was not an act of terrorism. He clarified that the incident appeared to be the actions of a lone individual, posing no broader national security threat.
Several workers inside the building shared their harrowing experiences, recalling how they encountered the gunman during the evacuation process. The sudden appearance of the armed individual caused confusion and fear among those present.
Police Response and Conclusion of the Incident
The police engaged with the shooter as he continued to fire his weapon while moving through the high-rise. Eventually, the gunman contained himself within the elevator shaft, and after further shots were fired, he was found dead a short time later.
Impact on the FIFA Women’s World Cup
The shooting incident occurred just hours before the opening ceremony of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which was set to take place in Eden Park, Auckland. Authorities assured that appropriate security measures were in place to ensure the safety of players, staff, and spectators.
Support and Solidarity from the International Community
Leaders and representatives from various organizations expressed their condolences and solidarity with New Zealand in the wake of the tragedy. They called for unity and support for the families affected by the devastating incident.
Police Response and Safety Measures
The New Zealand Police contained the situation to the building on lower Queen Street, which was currently under construction. They urged the public to avoid the area and advised individuals in downtown inner-city buildings to remain indoors. Emergency services maintained a significant presence in the area.
Road and Ferry Service Disruptions
Due to the seriousness of the incident, several roads, including sections of Lower Hobson St, Quay St, Queen St, and Lower Albert St, were closed. Additionally, all ferry services were suspended until further notice.
Normalcy Resumes at Auckland University
Auckland University reopened just after 11 am, with classes proceeding as planned, despite the earlier disruption.
In conclusion, the shooting incident at the Auckland high-rise building has left the nation in shock and mourning. The authorities are actively investigating the tragedy, while the international community stands in solidarity with New Zealand during this difficult time.