An Australian woman living in New Zealand has described the terrifying moment she fled for cover after gunshots rang out in Auckland.
Three people are dead including the shooter and at least six people are feared injured after a suspected gunman opened fire at a construction site in the nation’s biggest city on Thursday morning.
About 100 tradies were told by police to go to the top of the Deloitte building to take cover.
Armed police stormed the CBD area after reports of gunshots shortly after 8am at the building site on Queen St.
Australian Erin Sokolowsky was on her way to work when the chaos unfolded.
“I haven’t seen an incident this big in a while, so clearly something was going on,” she said.
“Within a minute of walking past (the construction site), waiting for the lights, gunfire started and people started running left, right and centre.
“They said five shots. It sounded like more than that. Really loud and felt really close and we couldn’t hear or see where it was coming from.
“The best thing we can do is run and hid behind a wall and hightail it out of there.”
Ms Sokolowsky, who works just a block away on Collins St, told host Karl Stefanovic the area was highly populated.
“We don’t know what went on, who is dead, if people are dead – it was scary,” she said.
“Hearing the gunshots alone is enough to terrify you, but not knowing what is going on and the confusion that followed.
“I would definitely say I have never experienced anything like that before, like something you see on movies.
“A city is meant to be a place where people are safe, It could have been so much worse.”
Ms Sokolowsky praised the response of police who quickly cordoned off the area.
The Today show reported on Thursday morning at least two people had died in the shooting.
It comes after the NZ Herald reported at least one of the six people injured was a police officer.
Three people had been treated with serious injuries, with three more suffering only moderate injuries.
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said he believed the shooter was dead, although NZ Police had not issued any confirmation.
“This is a scary situation for Aucklanders on their Thursday morning commute to work,” Mr Brown tweeted.
“Please stay at home, avoid travel into the city centre.”
Commuters captured much of the police response on video shared widely on social media on Thursday.
A worker told Stuff he was heading towards the Shed 10 building on Queens Wharf when he saw 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 said.
“There were hundreds of construction and office workers watching.
“I was about to go in, and then all of a sudden I heard bang, bang, bang.”