Shooting and death shutdown Auckland CBD

Aucklanders wake up to a shocking morning (INL Image)

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, July 20, 2023

Aucklanders and people across the nation woke up to worrying images of Police and Ambulance deployment in the Auckland CBD area.

At 7.23 am today, July 20, 2023, Aucklanders saw a busy work morning being brought to a halt with ferries being suspended, streets being cordoned off and all passengers on the 7.30 am ferry being held on the wharf for approximately 20 minutes.

An eyewitness told Indian Newslink that a member of the public had called the police to report a man with a gun shooting in central Auckland at a building on Lower Queen Street.

“At 7.34 am, police arrived on the scene and the Armed Offenders Squad arrived four minutes later. It is with deep sorrow that I can confirm that two people have been killed,” Prime Minister Hipkins said in his address.

From the initial reports, he understood those killed were civilians. “At this stage, I am aware that six others have been injured, including police. They have been taken to Auckland Hospital,” he said.

The Prime Minister also said, “Police have also confirmed that the shooter is also dead,” while he did not have information on whether police killed the shooter.

National security threat level

Mr Hipkins confirmed that there was no change in the national security threat level at this stage as he had been advised that there was no identified political or ideological motivation for the incident.

He said, “The assessment from officials is that there is no national security risk. There is no change to New Zealand’s national threat level. 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, to save the lives of others. These kinds of situations move fast and the actions of those who risk their lives to save others are nothing short of heroic.”

“I also want to acknowledge the ambulance first responders who were there quickly on the scene this morning.”

A crucial day for Auckland

The FIFA tournament would continue as planned and the government had been in conversations with the organisers this morning.

With FIFA Women’s World Cup being the biggest sporting event ever hosted by New Zealand, Mr Hipkins acknowledged that all the focus was on Auckland at the moment to ensure a smooth functioning of the kickoff, scheduled this evening.

Mr Hipkins was meant to travel to Hamilton today but would now travel to Auckland instead.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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