Attributable to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster:
I am extending my condolences and sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of those who were killed in today’s shooting event in central city Auckland.
Their lives have been irrevocably affected by this tragic event and our thoughts are very much with them today.
I have had an update from the investigation team who are working at pace to understand why this terrible event occurred today.
At 7.22am, Police received multiple emergency calls with reports of a person discharging a firearm from inside the third floor of a building under construction at the bottom of Queen Street.
Police were on scene at the site within minutes. We are continuing to piece together the entire sequence of events, however what we know is:
That the offender made his way up through the building site, discharging his firearm on multiple occasions.
Police entered the building within 10 minutes.
Staff from various groups right across Tāmaki Makaurau responded and members of the public inside the building were evacuated where possible.
We know several workers inside the building found refuge hiding within the building.
At 8am, our Armed Offenders Squad, alongside Special Tactics Group, located the offender inside a lift shaft where he had barricaded himself and our staff attempted to engage with him after securing the floors above and below.
The offender fired at Police, injuring an officer.
Shots were exchanged, and the offender was later located deceased.
Tragically, Police located two members of the public deceased on the lower levels of the building site.
The Police officer was transported to hospital in a critical condition, but we can advise his condition has stabilised.
The four members of the public have injuries ranging from moderate to more serious.
At least one of these people self-presented to Auckland City Hospital with moderate injuries.
While the situation is still developing, we know that there may be more victims as they make themselves known to Police and these injury statuses may change.
The building has now been cleared and the lockdown lifted.
A scene guard will remain in place while Police investigations continue.
This was an incredibly alarming incident for workers who were beginning their day.
We have contained the situation and are not seeking anyone else.
We have not formally identified the offender however we believe the man is a 24-year-old. We understand that he has worked at construction site and we believe the reason for his presence at the site this morning was connected with that work.
We know that those who work and live in the vicinity may be feeling vulnerable. However, we can provide reassurance that there is no reason for ongoing concern about this situation.
There is an increased Police presence in the area and we reassure the public that they can continue to come into the CBD.
The immediate vicinity remains cordoned while our team continues the scene examination.
We are communicating with local and central government, and FIFA tournament organisers.
Police have been part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup operational planning group, and as such were well placed to manage impacts on the event.
We are satisfied there is no ongoing risk to the public and no reason why the tournament should not proceed – the matches are safe to attend.
Again, I want to acknowledge this has been a shocking and traumatic event for those people who came to work and found themselves in the middle of an armed emergency.
Thankfully many people were able to escape the building, but I know that for those who hid or remained trapped in the building, this was a terrifying experience.
I want to acknowledge the bravery of our staff who walk towards danger to keep the public safe. I’m very proud of their actions today.
Jarred Williamson/NZ Police