Two shot dead, others injured during Women’s Soccer World Cup opening ceremony (video)
FCG reports where man killed two people in Auckland, Nee Zealand hours before the opening of the Women’s World Cup, shocking tens of thousands of football fans gathered to watch New Zealand play Norway in the first game of the tournament.
FCG gathered that the details of the attack was narrated in a news conference by New Zealand Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, confirming that three people had died including the gunman and several others were injured.
At 7 a.m. local time Thursday, July 20, a man armed with a pump action shotgun opened fire on a construction site, according to the Prime Minister
“He moved through the building site discharging the firearm as he went,” Hipkins said. “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.”
News footage showed heavily armed police dressed in body armour and carrying rifles flocking to the scene of the frime and cordoning off portions of the business district.
Hipkins said the actions of the police officers who “ran into the gunfire, straight into harm’s way in order to save the lives of others” were “nothing short of heroic.”
New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said one officer was shot as he attempted to engage the gunman, and four civilians had “moderate to critical injuries.”
Coster said the suspect was under home detention orders but had an exemption to work at the construction site where the shooting took place, and the incident was believed to be related to his work there.
The suspect had a “family violence history” but there was “nothing to suggest that he has presented a high level risk,” Coster said. He did not have a firearms license, Coster added.
New Zealand officials confirmed the Women’s World Cup opening ceremony and first game would go ahead as planned.
In a statement, FIFA said it extended “its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims”.
“FIFA has been informed that this was an isolated incident that was not related to football operations and the opening match tonight at Eden Park will proceed as planned,” the statement added.
Shootings are extremely rare in New Zealand, especially following the introduction of strict gun laws in 2019 after a mass shooting in Christchurch left 50 people dead
New Zealand will face Norway at Eden Park in the opening match on Thursday in one of the world’s biggest sporting events, co-hosted by New Zealand and neighbor Australia.
At least two people and an armed attacker were killed and five others wounded in a shooting in Auckland, New Zealand, hours ahead of the opening match of the Women's soccer World Cup in the city https://t.co/byscm4YXu5 pic.twitter.com/nKoeO7tZ7G
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 20, 2023