A shooting occurred in the center of Auckland, New Zealand, hours before the city was to host the Fifa Women's World Cup opening ceremony. Two people were killed by the gunfire.
After the event that occurred at 07:22 (19:22 GMT) on a construction site in the central business area, the gunman also died, and six individuals, including police officers, were hurt as a result of the incident.
According to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, the incident is not being investigated as a terrorist attack. He confirmed that the tournament would take place as originally scheduled.
Even though there was no evidence to suggest that the attack was motivated by politics or ideology, the prime minister informed the people that the threat had been eliminated by the police, and they should rest easy knowing that there was no longer any danger.
He went on to say that the shooter had been armed with a shotgun that had a pump action when he arrived at the construction site on Queen Street on Friday morning.
Mr. Hipkins thanked "the courageous men and women of the New Zealand police who ran directly into the gunfire to save others' lives." According to the author, the actions of those who place their own lives in danger to save others are nothing short of heroic. These situations progress rapidly.
According to the Mayor of Auckland, Wayne Brown, all staff and teams associated with FIFA have been accounted for and have been confirmed to be safe. Earlier, he had advised individuals not to leave their homes and to refrain from traveling into the city.
“I don't recall anything even somewhat like this ever taking place in our wonderful city”, said Mr. Brown. He also mentioned on social media that the events that took place this morning were unfortunate and upsetting for all of Auckland's residents because this is not something that we are used to seeing.
Fifa expressed its "deepest condolences" to the families of the victims and stated that it was in contact with New Zealand authorities. "Participating teams in close proximity to this incident are receiving support for any potential consequences," it stated.
New Zealand and Norway will play the inaugural match in the city's Eden Park. Grant Robertson, the minister of sport, stated that there will be additional police in the area to provide reassurance. Co-hosting the ninth Women's World Cup are New Zealand and Australia.
The police reported hearing reports of a person discharging a firearm inside the construction site, with the shooter moving throughout the structure and continuing to fire. The suspect then entered an elevator shaft, where police attempted to engage him.
The man fired additional shots and was discovered dead shortly thereafter, according to police. Following the shooting, there was a significant armed police presence in the central business district, close to the waterfront and the fan park.
Tatjana Haenni, the primary sporting director for the United States National Women's Soccer League, is staying close to the scene of the shooting. She reported to sources that she awoke to the sounds of police vehicles approaching and was instructed to remain inside. "So far we feel safe," she said.