A gunman armed with a shotgun stormed a high-rise construction site in downtown Auckland this morning, shooting at terrified workers and killing two people just hours before the Women’s World Cup got underway in New Zealand.
The gunman was Matu Tangi Matua Reid, 24.
Matu Tangi Matua Reid was a worker at the construction site, and had an exemption from home detention to go to work.
Auckland shooting: How it unfolded
At 7.22am police received multiple emergency calls about a person shooting a gun on the third floor of a building under construction on lower Queen Street.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, said officers arrived on the scene within minutes.
“The offender made his way up the building site, discharging his firearm on multiple occasions. Police entered in the building within 10 minutes.”
Andrew Coster said many people were evacuated, but several workers found refuge within the building while the shooting happened.
About 8am the Armed Offenders Squad, supported by the Special Tactics Group, found the gunman, who had barricaded himself into an elevator shaft.
The police commissioner said the offender fired at police, injuring an officer, and shots were then exchanged.
“The offender was later found deceased.”
The injured police officer was taken to hospital in a critical condition, but has since stabilised.
Police on Thursday evening said the cordon around the area had been reduced, now covering just the immediate vicinity of the site – an under-construction building by the waterfront.
Roads around the area have been reopened.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins expressed his “deep sorrow” that two people, who he said were civilians, had been killed.
St John Ambulance said five patients were taken to Auckland Hospital – one in a serious condition and four moderate. Another patient in a serious condition was taken to Middlemore Hospital.
Two more patients – one in a moderate condition and one minor – were treated at the scene. St John erected its major incident tent to triage patients that had minor injuries.
Two of the injured were police officers.