The Fifa Women’s World Cup is officially under way, with New Zealand’s Football Ferns taking on Norway at a full-house Eden Park.
The impressive opening ceremony featured fireworks, Benee and a lot of unfurling, according to one Spinoffer in attendance, who sent this dispatch: “The vibes are high and the amount of unfurling of things on the field is also high.”
The national anthems were followed by a minute’s silence for the victims of today’s shooting in downtown Auckland.
The game is now under way and I’m no football expert but 20 minutes in, Norway appears to be in control – but the Ferns are holding their own. You can watch on Prime or Sky.
The Spinoff will have more coverage of this huge night for Tāmaki Makaurau tomorrow morning.
Prime minister Chris Hipkins has expressed his “deepest condolences” after this morning’s tragic shooting in Auckland, but reassured football fans that tonight’s Fifa opening match is safe to attend.
Speaking from a central Auckland hotel, Hipkins said those who lost their lives today had just been doing their jobs “but will not be coming home tonight”. To those who had lost loved ones, Hipkins said all of New Zealand was mourning with them.
Hipkins also thanked first responders and acknowledged those who had been injured in the line of fire. “Thankfully these sorts of shootings… are not common in New Zealand,” he said.
Earlier today, Hipkins met with senior police officials and commissioner Andrew Coster. Most of what was discussed has since been released into the public domain, said Hipkins. “I am confident they [police] will investigate fully and be able to provide answers to what happened in time,” he said. Questions still to be answered include how the shooter got the gun and whether there were any flags that could signalled earlier that this could have happened, the prime minister said. “It is an absolutely tragic set of events.”
Corrections will also carry out a separate investigation and a review of the alleged offender’s management. Hipkins said advice was being sought on whether a “wider system review” was needed. But, he said, this was a “standalone” incident. “We have once again seen the police show their most resolute professionalism,” he added.
In a separate statement, Corrections revealed that the alleged offender was subject to ten standard and five special conditions as part of his home detention. “He was in frequent contact with staff, and was required to report in to his Probation Officer twice every ten days. He had last reported in yesterday,” said Corrections’ acting national commissioner Sean Mason.
Tonight’s Fifa world cup match will carry with it an “enhanced police presence” and Hipkins, who is soon heading to Eden Park, said the shooting would be acknowledged during the opening ceremony.
Hipkins had a brief conversation earlier today with the president of Fifa who was with sports minister Grant Robertson at the time. The prime minister will meet with the president in person at tonight’s match. He reiterated: “It is safe to go to the Fifa opening event… [but] obviously we would have preferred it not to have started in this way.”
Three people died during the incident, including the gunman.
Six people have been injured, including a police officer who was shot and will undergo surgery this afternoon. Police commissioner Andrew Coster said the number of injuries may increase as more victims are identified.
It’s been confirmed the shooter, aged 24, was on home detention for family violence offences, but had an exemption to work at the construction site. He was being electronically monitored. Police have not formally named him yet, though some media outlets have chosen to identify him.
The man did not have a firearm licence for the shotgun that was used and there were “indications of mental health history”. There was no ideological motivation for the attack and this is not a national security incident.
National Party leader Christopher Luxon said today “isn’t the day for politics” and it would be “disrespectful” to speculate on today’s shooting without all the information.
Luxon has spoken to media from downtown Auckland, near the scene of this morning’s deadly shooting.
He first acknowledged the “two people who went to work today but aren’t going home” and also paid tribute to the “heroic behaviour” of police and first responders.
But when asked by reporters to discuss whether today’s shooting exposed holes in our gun control laws, Luxon refused. “There are lots of questions that New Zealanders will have, but today is not that day. Today is not a day for politics,” he said.
He gave similar responses when asked about the fact the shooter was reportedly on electronic monitoring. “Again I don’t want to get into that today,” he said.
However, Luxon expanded on National’s broader position on crime, noting that he had heard from many New Zealanders who felt unsafe in their own homes. “We’ve been really clear… it’s really about backing our police, tackling gangs and ensuring we have stronger sentencing,” he said of National’s position. “We have seen crime get out of control.”
Joining Luxon at this afternoon’s stand-up was the National Party police spokesperson Mark Mitchell. He added that his party did want to hold the government to account – “but that is for another day”.
Following police commissioner Andrew Coster’s afternoon press conference, here is what we know as of 2.30pm about today’s shooting in downtown Auckland.
Police have confirmed three people died during the incident at an Auckland CBD construction site this morning.
One of those killed was the offender, though police have not yet confirmed whether he died during an exchange of shots or if he took his own life.
Six people have been injured, including a police officer who was shot and will undergo surgery this afternoon. Andrew Coster said the number of injuries may increase as more victims are identified.
The first call to police was from a witness on lower Queen Street at 7.23am. About 10 minutes later, police officers had arrived on the scene. The Armed Offenders Squad was there four minutes later.
It’s been confirmed the shooter, aged 24, was on home detention for family violence offences, but had an exemption to work at the construction site. He was being electronically monitored. Police have not yet named him, though some media outlets have chosen to identify him.
The man did not have a firearm licence for the shotgun that was used and there were “indications of mental health history”. There was no ideological motivation for the attack and this is not a national security incident.
Chris Hipkins cancelled plans to travel to Hamilton and returned to the Beehive for a full briefing. He has since travelled to Auckland and will address media later this afternoon. National’s Christopher Luxon will also speak from Queen Street at 3pm. Act Party leader David Seymour released a statement paying tribute to first responders and others impacted by the event. Senior politicians have also spoken of the attack in parliament this afternoon.
The National Party’s candidate in Auckland Central said he felt “alarm and concern” after being alerted to this morning’s shooting in the city’s downtown precinct.
Mahesh Muralidhar was at the police cordon early this morning to witness the unfolding situation and speak with locals. Speaking to The Spinoff from just outside the police line, Muralidhar said he was feeling very stern today. “This is my city, this is my home and I wanted to make sure people are safe so I wanted to get down here to see what was happening,” he said.
Later this afternoon, sitting Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick will join prime minister Chris Hipkins at the scene of today’s deadly shooting. There’s no confirmed time for this, however it’s been confirmed the pair have arrived in Auckland. Christopher Luxon, National Party leader, is also set to address media at 3pm.
Asked for his reaction to this morning’s events, Muralidhar said: “It tears my heart.. it makes me want to hold [the city] tight, make sure everyone is feeling safe.”
He wouldn’t get into the politics of the event, noting it was important to first establish what had happened. “We need to wait until the dust settles … and then we need to address it. Society shouldn’t accept these kind of things, it’s not some kind of normality,” he said. “New Zealand is this wonderful place that needs to feel safe. We just need to make sure that everyone affected is taken care of.”
The man responsible for this morning’s shooting in downtown Auckland was on home detention and had an exemption to work at the construction site where the attack happened, police commissioner Andrew Coster has confirmed. He was being monitored electronically.
The 24-year-old man’s home detention sentence was in relation to a history of family violence, and there was nothing to suggest he presented a higher-level risk, said Coster, speaking at a press conference at the Auckland city police hub in Freemans Bay. The man is yet to be formally identified, though he has been named by some media outlets.
Two people were killed, as well as the shooter, and six injured in the incident this morning, including a police officer who is now in a stable condition in Auckland city hospital, where they will undergo surgery this afternoon. Coster said other than the police officer, the people who died and the injured were all believed to be connected to the workplace, but further injured people may come forward.
The man did not have a firearm licence for the shotgun that was used and there were “indications of mental health history”, Coster added.
“This was an incredibly alarming incident for workers who were just starting their day,” said Coster, adding that people who live and work in the area may feel vulnerable but there is no ongoing risk, and that the public can continue to come into the central city. For people who hid or were trapped by the incident, it was a “terrifying experience”.
The high-rise building site has now been cleared and the lockdown of the surrounding area lifted, but a scene guard remains in place and the immediate vicinity of the site is cordoned.
In relation to the Fifa World Cup starting tonight, police have been talking to central and local government as well as Fifa, and are “well placed to manage the impacts on the event”, said Coster. “There is no ongoing risk to the public and matches are safe to attend.
The number injured in this morning’s Auckland shooting has been updated to five, one fewer than previously reported.
A new statement from acting superintendent Sunny Patel has confirmed a police officer was critically injured and transported to hospital. His condition has now stabilised. Four members of the public have injuries ranging from moderate to critical, with at least one of these self-presenting to the Auckland City Hospital.
Earlier, police confirmed three people had died, including the offender, after the shooting incident at an Auckland CBD construction site.
“While the situation and scene is still under active police management, we know that there may be more victims yet to make themselves known to police and these injury statuses may change,” said Patel. “The building site has now been secured and a scene examination is now underway.”
A police “critical incident investigation” has now been launched and as part of this officers were working to understand the circumstances behind the offender’s actions. “There are upwards of 40 witnesses who were at or around the scene and they are in the process of being spoken to as part of this investigation,” said Patel.
Police were still confirming the sequence of events in which the offender died. The families of the victims, including the deceased, were being spoken to. Enquiries will likely continue for the coming days, and we will be contacting those who were working on site and in the surrounding area.
Later today, police commissioner Andrew Coster will address media. We’re also expecting to hear from prime minister Chris Hipkins who is en route to Auckland.
The mayor of Auckland, Wayne Brown, has issued a statement responding to the events in downtown Auckland this morning in which at least three people were killed. He expressed sympathy for victims and stressed that it appears to be an isolated case.
“I can’t remember anything like this ever happening in our beautiful city. This morning’s events have been tragic and distressing for all Aucklanders, as this is not something that we are used to,” he said. “What we know is that this is an isolated incident. This appears to be the act of one individual, this was not a threat to national security, nor was it in any way related to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Event.”
Brown continued: “While the details of the victims have not yet been confirmed, I want to express my condolences to their families. I also want express sympathy for those in the construction industry and commuters who will be feeling on edge following this incident. I want to thank our police and first responders who were courageous in working to contain this incident and keep the public safe. Their efforts to contain the area and resolve the situation were exceptional.”
Ngāti Whātua would undertake a blessing of the site, he said, “which I acknowledge and appreciate”. He added: “I want to assure Aucklanders and the international community that the city is open and safe, and our police and emergency services are prepared to respond quickly and effectively to incidents, however unexpected they may be. Despite today’s sad events, the FIFA opening game tonight will go ahead tonight, the city is ready, and I will be in attendance.”
The Fifa Women’s World Cup will proceed as planned, despite a multiple-fatality shooting in central Auckland this morning, with officials confirming that there are no national security implications. This morning’s shooting incident took place just a few hundred metres from The Cloud on the waterfront, where a fan zone has been set up. The tournament kicks off with a game at Eden Park between New Zealand and Norway tonight.
“Clearly with the Fifa World Cup kicking off this evening there are a lot of eyes on Auckland,” the prime minister, Chris Hipkins, said at a media conference this morning. “The government has spoken to Fifa organisers this morning and the tournament will proceed as planned.” Anyone attending tonight’s opening could expect a heightened police presence “to provide reassurance”.
The sports minister, Grant Robertson, said he had spoken with the Fifa president and secretary general, who had passed on condolences to those impacted “and all New Zealanders”. “There are a number of teams who were staying in the immediate area. They are all safe and sound.”
Soon after 10am, New Zealand Football tweeted that the Football Ferns team and staff were safe and that preparations for tonight’s game were continuing as planned. According to Stuff, the Norway team’s hotel is nearby and they were woken by the police helicopter, but the team “felt safe the whole time”.
Please refer to New Zealand Police for further information. Preparations for the game tonight at Eden Park will continue as planned. [2/2]
Auckland’s downtown precinct remains in total lockdown, with a police cordon stretching around from lower Queen Street around to the downtown ferry terminal.
Dozens of onlookers are standing along the police tape watching on as armed police stand guard over the scene, which is now contained. Cafes and CBD office buildings are packed as well, after police advised those in the city to remain indoors. The Spinoff unintentionally ended up inside the cordon at one point after walking through a hotel lobby that was within the locked down area.
Media are set up at two points on either side of the cordon, alongside a number of police officers and multiple police vehicles. It’s expected police will front to media later on today.
There remains an eerie quiet over the city, with only the sound of the hovering police helicopter and police walkie talkies breaking the calmness.
A pair of travelling American tourists spoken to by The Spinoff said they were confused as to what was going on – but said it felt more like they were still in the US than on the other side of the world.
“It’s actually not out of the ordinary. But if it was back home there wouldn’t be anything quite so drastic,” they said, indicating to the heavy police presence. “Auckland… I said ‘it’s like Oakland but with A-U’.”
The pair enquired as to the state of New Zealand’s gun laws and said they believed New Zealand was a peaceful place. They’re now heading to Wellington to catch a World Cup game – “and watch the news”.
Chris Hipkins has expressed “deep sorrow” at the news of fatal shootings in Auckland this morning and praised the first responders, but stressed that there is “no ongoing security or safety risk”. Speaking at a media conference at the Beehive, the prime minister confirmed two people had been shot, as well as the offender. He said six other people had been injured and were at Auckland hospital.
“The assessment from officials is that there is no national security risk,” he said. “There is no change to New Zealand’s national security threat level … This appears to to be the actions of one individual. Aucklanders and those watching around the world can be assured that the police have neutralised the threat and they are not seeking anybody else in relation to the individual. New Zealanders’ safety, and the safety of our visitors, is our first priority.”
He said: “The offender was armed with a pump-action shotgun. He moved through the building site, discharging the firearm as he went. Upon reaching the upper levels of the building the man contained himself in an elevator, shots were fired and he was located a short time later. I want to thank the brave men and women of the New Zealand police, who ran into the gunfire, straight into harm’s way, in order to save the lives of others. These kind of situations move fast and the actions of those who risk their lives to save others are nothing short of heroic.”
Hipkins will departed for Auckland shortly, with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster on his way to the city from Christchurch. The Fifa Women’s World Cup opening will continue as planned. He said: “Clearly with the Fifa World Cup kicking off this evening there are a lot of eyes on Auckland. The government has spoken to Fifa organisers this morning and the tournament will proceed as planned.” He added: “We will have a very active police presence to provide reassurance.”
Hipkins said he had not been provided any information yet on whether the shotgun used was one of the banned firearms.
The police have confirmed that at least three people have died in this morning’s shooting incident in downtown Auckland, including the male offender. The situation is now “contained”, say Police, who have described a shooter moving through a high-rise construction site in lower Queen Street. He continued to fire his weapon before being found dead after barricading himself in a lift shaft. There are believed to be a number of other injuries.
The following statement is from Acting Superintendent Sunny Patel, relieving Auckland district commander:
“Police have contained a serious incident that unfolded at a construction site in Auckland’s CBD this morning. Multiple injuries have been reported and at this stage we can confirm two people have died. The male offender is also deceased. This incident unfolded after reports of a person discharging a firearm inside the site on lower Queen Street at around 7.22am. A significant number of police responded and cordoned off the area. The police Eagle helicopter was also deployed and provided oversight.
“The offender has moved through the building site and continued to discharge his firearm. 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. Further shots were fired from the male and he was located deceased a short time later. Details around what has exactly occurred are still emerging and police will continue to provide updates around injuries and the circumstances.
“What has unfolded is understandably alarming and we are reassuring the public that this incident has been contained and is an isolated incident. We can also advise that this is not a national security risk. Police are now commencing an investigation into what has occurred this morning. Cordons remain in place and we are continuing to ask the public to stay away from the area as our work continues. Updates will continue to be provided this morning and police will also be fronting an update to media this afternoon.”
Auckland Transport has advised public transport users to expect major delays across the entire city’s networks as an unfolding incident continues around Britomart train station.
The downtown ferry terminal has just opened after having been closed for the morning. Passengers waiting to board ferries were held in the terminal as the ferries themselves wait in the harbour. Buses going through the city have been detoured, but trains are still running as normal.
Commuters have reported wide-reaching bus cancellations to services in north Auckland. Those attempting to travel into the CBD have been asked to delay journeys if possible and to avoid the area.
As of 9.30am, several roads in the CBD are closed, including sections of Lower Hobson St, Quay St, Queen St, Customs St West, Customs St East and Lower Albert St.
AT is advising public transport users to check the AT Mobile app for updates.
Auckland mayor Wayne Brown says the incident in the CBD is being “treated as a homicide”.
While police have not yet confirmed reports of a shooter, or of fatalities, Brown told RNZ he believes there has been loss of life.
He did not repeat his earlier claim that the shooter had been killed. There have now been, however, several unconfirmed reports of this in various media outlets.
Brown did confirm “severe injuries to members of the public and a policeman”.
Stuff has reported “people” have been killed, though few additional details are known. “Stuff understands multiple people have been killed, and half a dozen people have been injured in the shooting. At least one police officer has suffered a gunshot wound,” the outlet’s live blog has reported.
According to Newshub, the reported gunman was a 24-year-old man working at Commercial Bay, who took a shotgun into his workplace – though it must be reiterated that this information has so far not come from police.
We’ve reported comments by Auckland mayor Wayne Brown this morning that a shooter in downtown Auckland has been killed. As we noted, these were unverified remarks by the mayor and have not yet been distributed by police.
In a tweet, councillor Jo Bartley advised that members of the public should only listen to the police. “I heard from media that mayor saying shooter has been shot. Please do not listen to anyone who isn’t the police,” Bartley said. “This is when all the stories will come out online that aren’t helpful at all. Listen to the Police. Stay out of city and if you in the city stay in your building.”
I heard from media that mayor saying shooter has been shot. Please do not listen to anyone who isn’t the Police. This is when all the stories will come out online that aren’t helpful at all. Listen to the Police. Stay out of city and if you in the city stay in your building .
Dozens of armed police flooded the busy Britomart precinct this morning, responding to reports of a shooting. There remains no confirmation as to what actually took place, though reports on various media outlets suggest there was an active shooter and there may be casualties. Mayor Wayne Brown has told media the shooter is dead, though this has also not been confirmed.
We had this photo sent in to us from a worker in a downtown Auckland building, showing dozens of onlookers and police officers in the surrounding Britomart area.
Chris Hipkins has cancelled plans to travel to Hamilton and is returning to the Beehive to assess the unfolding situation in downtown Auckland, where several shots have been fired and numerous police and emergency service workers are gathered around cordons.
“He will be briefed by officials on the latest information regarding the incident in the Auckland CBD and will provide comment to media following that,” said a spokesperson for the prime minister.
There are still limited details about the unfolding event in downtown Auckland (you can find all the latest information here).
However, the Herald’s reported – via St John – that there are six people injured. That includes three people with more serious injuries, and three with more moderate injuries.
The cause of the injuries remains unverified. However, there are reports in the media of a gunman in a building under construction on Quay Street. Auckland mayor Wayne Brown told TVNZ that while he hadn’t had the information confirmed, he believed the shooter was now dead.
A “serious incident” is unfolding in downtown Auckland. Few verified details are known at this point. However, here is what we can confirm.
At 7.41am, police confirmed that armed officers were responding to an incident on Quay Street.
In a subsequent update, it’s been confirmed the incident is “currently contained to a building in lower Queen Street, which is under construction”. A TVNZ Breakfast host said it was believed there was a shooter in the area.
Shortly after 8am, a Newshub reporter at the scene reported hearing gunshots, while other reports added that there were “five or six” heard in short succession.
Footage from the scene showed a bloodied individual, believed to be a police officer, being carried out of a building and into an ambulance. The Herald reported that a construction worker was also being tended to with injuries.
There is still confusion around the situation and police have not confirmed there was a gunman. However, at about 8.30am, Auckland mayor Wayne Brown told TVNZ that he believed “the shooter’s actually dead…but no one is actually sure about that”. He said he didn’t want to “bother” police while the operation was unfolding. “Very scary, very bad… couldn’t be at a worse time with the eyes of the world on us for the world soccer thing.”
This is a scary situation for Aucklanders on their Thursday morning commute to work. Please stay at home, avoid travel into the city centre.
Armed police have swarmed downtown Auckland, near the Britomart train station and the Commercial Bay shopping district.
A statement from police reveals few details about what is going on, simply describing it as a “serious incident” and advising locals to stay inside.
However, live footage from Newshub’s AM shows numerous police officers – one reporter claimed “30 to 40” – and vehicles in the Quay Street area. The police helicopter is also hovering overhead. “I’ve never seen something of this scale,” the reporter said. “Five or six” gunshots were heard shortly after 8am and footage showed an individual, believed to be a police officer, being carried into an ambulance.
⚠️ If you are downtown in Auckland city centre, please stay indoors as emergency services respond to an unfolding situation.
We are in communication with the frontline and will update as necessary and appropriate.