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Three people are dead and six injured after a gunman armed with a pump-action shotgun went on a shooting spree before dying in a standoff with police at a construction site in Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday morning.

The shooter has been named as Matu Tangi Matua Reid, 24.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said before he died, Reid, who had a history of “family violence”, barricaded himself in an elevator on the third floor and shot at police, hitting one officer.

“Shots were exchanged, and the offender was later located deceased,” Mr Coster told reporters at an afternoon briefing.

“Tragically, police located two members of the public deceased on the lower levels of the building site.”

He confirmed the injured officer was in a stable condition and would receive surgery today.

“This was a terrifying experience,” he said.

Mr Coster offered his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the two deceased civilian victims. They have not yet been publicly identified.

Police stressed the shooting was “not a national security risk” — as it was revealed the gunman was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet at the time of the incident.

Video posted to social media captured the moment around eight gunshots rang out from the building as police could be seen escorting workers away, while others remained huddled on the roof of the unfinished tower.

“Something’s going down, it’s pretty major … there’s gunshots,” the man filming says.

Armed police stormed the CBD area after reports of a person with a gun at a building under construction on Queen Street.

Gun shots were heard just after 7.20am (5.20am AEST), police said.

Around 100 tradies were told by police to go to the top of the Deloitte building to take cover, one construction worker told Stuff.

Workers could be seen ducking for cover on the roof of the building as an officer stood by in a dramatic photo.

The NZ Herald reports Reid was wearing an ankle monitor because he was serving a community-based home detention sentence for domestic violence.

He was sentenced in the Auckland District Court earlier this year after admitting to charges of “impeding breathing, injuring with intent to injure, wilful damage, and male assaults female”, according to the newspaper.

Reid was sentenced to five months’ home detention on March 28.

While home detention generally requires offenders to remain at their approved address, there can be provisions allowing people to continue working at a designated workplace.

Mr Coster confirmed that Reid had worked at the site and had an exemption to attend the location.

“The individual is known for primarily family violence history,” he said. “There is nothing to suggest that he has presented a higher-level risk than was indicated by that history.”

A woman at a property linked to Reid told Stuff she spoke to him last night.

“He said he loved us and nothing really,” she said.

“His phone went dead this morning. He was talking to us last night. Everything was all good last night.”

New Zealand Police Acting Superintendent Sunny Patel said in a statement just before 10am that “police have contained a serious incident that unfolded at a construction site in Auckland’s CBD this morning”.

Auckland shooter's violent history

“Multiple injuries have been reported and at this stage we can confirm two people have died. The male offender is also deceased,” Mr Patel said.

“This incident unfolded after reports of a person discharging a firearm inside the site on lower Queen Street at around 7.22am.

“A significant number of police responded and cordoned off the area. The Police Eagle helicopter was also deployed and provided oversight.

“The offender has moved through the building site and continued to discharge his firearm.

“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.

“He was located deceased a short time later.

“Details around what has exactly occurred are still emerging and police will continue to provide updates around injuries and the circumstances.

“What has unfolded is understandably alarming and we are reassuring the public that this incident has been contained and is an isolated incident.

“We can also advise that this is not a national security risk.

“Police are now commencing an investigation into what has occurred this morning.

“Cordons remain in place and we are continuing to ask the public to stay away from the area as our work continues.

“Updates will continue to be provided this morning and police will also be fronting an update to media this afternoon.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed police were among the six people injured.

“They have been taken to Auckland Hospital,” he told reporters at a press conference just after 10.15am (8.15am AEST).

Mr Hipkins said the “assessment from officials is that there is no national security risk”, and that the FIFA Women’s World Cup would kick off this evening as scheduled with the opening match between New Zealand and Norway at Eden Park.

“I want to reiterate that there is no wider national security threat,” he said.

“This appears to be the actions of one individual. Aucklanders and those watching around the world can be assured that the police have neutralised the threat and that they are not seeking anybody else in relation to the incident.”

He could not confirm whether police killed the offender, saying he did not have that information.

Mr Hipkins thanked the “brave men and women of the New Zealand Police who ran into the gunfire, straight into harm’s way in order to save the lives of others”.

“These kinds of situations move fast and the actions of those who risked their lives to save others are nothing short of heroic,” he said.

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

The PM said he could not share any more information about the shooter’s identity or comment on reports he was wearing an electronic monitor.

He also would not speculate on whether it may have been linked to an employment dispute.

“Police are working to confirm information, as soon as they are in a position to share that information, they will do that,” he said.

“From the advice that we have received so far, there is no identified political or ideological motivation for the shooting and therefore no national security risk.”

Mr Hipkins said police were also working “to confirm details about whether the individual had a gun licence or not”.

In the wake of Christchurch mosque attack in March 2019, New Zealand officials collected around 56,000 firearms under a six-month gun buyback program.

New Zealand’s parliament voted in the month after the massacre to change the country’s gun laws, banning all military-style semi-automatic weapons.

Earlier on Thursday, police said in a statement officers were “responding to reports of a serious incident” in the Auckland CBD.

“A number of armed police are currently responding and the public is asked to please stay indoors and avoid the area,” police said.

“This is a significant incident with multiple emergency services responding. A large police presence will remain in the area.”

Police confirmed in an update that the incident was “currently contained to a building in lower Queen Street, which is under construction”.

St John Ambulance said it had treated six people, three patients with serious injuries and three with moderate injuries.

“This is a scary situation for Aucklanders on their Thursday morning commute to work,” Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown tweeted. “Please stay at home, avoid travel into the city centre.”

One worker told Stuff he was heading towards the Shed 10 building on Queens Wharf when he saw lots of police with guns come running.

He was told by an officer to run and get behind a hard and solid object.

“The area hadn’t been blocked off by then,” Dion Hosking told the website. “There were hundreds of construction and office workers watching.”

He said everyone was told to move into Shed 10.

“I was about to go in, and then all of a sudden I heard bang, bang, bang,” he added.

frank.chung@news.com.au



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