At least two people have died after a gunman went on a shooting spree in Auckland, New Zealand, as the nation prepared to host games in the Fifa Women’s World Cup football tournament.
Police said there were also multiple injuries during the incident, which took place near the hotel where Team Norway has been staying. The suspected shooter is also dead, say police.
Acting Police Superintendent Sunny Patel said the man started shooting at the site on lower Queen Street at about 7.20am. Police swarmed the area and closed off streets. Supt Patel said the man moved through the building, firing at people there.
“Upon reaching the upper levels of the building, the male has contained himself within the elevator shaft and our staff have attempted to engage with him,” Supt Patel said in a statement. “Further shots were fired from the male and he was located deceased a short time later.”
It was not immediately clear if the police had shot the gunman or he had killed himself. Supt Patel said that while alarming, the incident was isolated and did not pose a national security risk.
The incident comes as many football teams were gathering in New Zealand for the Fifa Women’s World Cup. The opening match is scheduled for Thursday between New Zealand and Norway.
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins canceled a planned trip to the city of Hamilton and was preparing to brief the media on the situation.
Team Norway captain Maren Mjelde said people woke up quickly when a helicopter began hovering outside the hotel window.
“We felt safe the whole time,” she said in a statement. “Fifa has a good security system at the hotel, and we have our own security officer in the squad. Everyone seems calm and we are preparing as normal for the game tonight.”