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New Zealand: Two killed in a mass shooting in Auckland hours before FIFA Women’s World Cup opening match

“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,” Mayor Brown said as he offered condolences to the family of deceased victims. 

On Thursday, July 20, two people were killed after a gunman opened fire at a construction site on Lower Queen Street in Auckland city of New Zealand at around 7:22 am. The attack came just hours before the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the city. According to the New Zealand police, the shooter was also killed.

Three people were critically wounded according to the city’s ambulance service, while three others suffered minor injuries. The shooting took place near a hotel where the FIFA teams of Norway and other countries are staying. Following the incident, the police force was deployed and the area was cordoned off.

New Zealand police informed that the shooter, who was armed with a pump-action shotgun, went through the construction site and, after reaching the upper levels “contained himself within the elevator shaft.”

“Further shots were fired from the male, and he was located deceased a short time later. Details about what has exactly occurred are still emerging and police will continue to provide updates around injuries and the circumstances, the police added.

Meanwhile, Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown termed the shooting as an isolated incident and unrelated to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

“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,” Mayor Brown said as he offered condolences to the family of deceased victims. 

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the football tournament would go ahead as planned, adding that the shooting seemed to be the actions of one person and that police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

“Clearly with the FIFA World Cup kicking off this evening, there are a lot of eyes on Auckland. The government has spoken to FIFA organizers this morning and the tournament will proceed as planned. There was no identified political or ideological motivation for the shooting and therefore no national security risk, I want to reiterate that there is no wider national security threat. This appears to be the action of one individual,” Hipkins said.

During the police operation, Norway captain Maren Mjelde told Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang, “Everything appears to be calm, and we are preparing as usual for the match tonight.” 

Norway is set to face New Zealand at Eden Park today at the opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

FIFA issued a statement saying its president, Gianni Infantino, and general-secretary, Fatma Samoura, were in constant contact with local authorities and participating teams in the vicinity.

FIFA said in its statement that it “has been informed that this is an isolated incident that was not related to football operations and that the opening match will proceed as planned.”

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