A deadly shooting took place in Auckland, a major city in the north of New Zealand’s North Island, hours before the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The attack on Thursday led to the death of two people and an armed attacker. Reportedly, six others, including police officers, were also wounded.
The incident occurred at 19:22 GMT on a construction site in the central business district in Auckland. Police said that the shooter, carrying a shotgun, moved through the building site and started shooting. The shootout took place near where numerous soccer players were staying. However, Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said that the attack was not related to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
After the incident, some soccer players took to social media to report they were safe. Maren Mjelde, who captains the Norway national team, told Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang, “All seems calm, and we are preparing as normal for the match tonight.”
Chris Hipkins, the prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, said that the FIFA Women’s World Cup would proceed as planned. He said the deadly attack was not being seen as an act of terrorism.
He said during a televised media briefing, “There was no identified political or ideological motivation for the shooting and therefore no national security risk.” The Prime Minister further said that there would be an increased police presence in Auckland. He revealed that the police had neutralised the threat.
The shooter was identified as 24-year-old Matu Tangi Matua Reid. He did not have a license to obtain a gun. The shooter reportedly had a history of family violence and mental health issues.
FIFA, an international association football competition contested by the senior women’s national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association, expressed condolences to the victims’ families.