Two killed in Auckland shooting ahead of Women’s World Cup opener

Several people injured after gunman storms construction site hours before city hosts opening ceremony

At least two people were killed and several others injured after a gunman stormed a building under construction in the New Zealand city of Auckland early on Thursday morning, police said. The incident occurred just hours before the first match of the Women’s World Cup was scheduled to begin nearby.

A male gunman was also killed, police said in a post on Twitter. It was not immediately clear if they counted the gunman among the total death toll.

New Zealand police began receiving reports of a person firing a gun inside the construction site about 7:20am local time, a police spokesperson said in an email.

Commuters heard the volley of gunshots during rush hour. Armed police officers and vehicles swarmed the area, and authorities shut down part of the city.


The incident occurred hours before New Zealand and Norway were set to play at Eden Park Stadium, about three miles from the site of the shooting. Several World Cup teams and many fans are staying in Auckland’s central business district. The shooting was said to have occurred very close to the Norway team hotel.

Police said an armed man had entered a high-rise building on lower Queen Street and went floor by floor while shooting. Within minutes, hundreds of officers carrying automatic weapons had descended on the site of the shooting, warning people to take cover and ushering them out of the area. Streets were closed in a two-block area, and a police helicopter hovered overhead.

“Upon reaching the upper levels of the building, the male has contained himself within the elevator shaft and our staff have attempted to engage with him,” police said. “Further shots were fired from the male and he was located deceased a short time later.”

A motive for the shooting and other details were not immediately available.

The mayor of Auckland, Wayne Brown, said in a post on Twitter: “This is a scary situation for Aucklanders on their Thursday morning commute to work. Please stay at home, avoid travel into the city centre.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.