Unknown Gunman Kills Two In New Zealand Hours Before First Game At 2023 Women’s World Cup

A man stormed a high-rise construction site in downtown Auckland early Thursday morning, shooting at workers and killing two people hours before New Zealand host the first game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament.

According to Associated Press (AP) the gunman was found dead after a police shootout, during which an officer was shot and wounded. Four civilians were also injured

The shooting happened near hotels where Team Norway and other teams have been staying.

New Zealand Prime Minster Chris Hipkins said the tournament would go ahead as scheduled.

Police said there would be heightened security at the tournament’s opening game to help reassure fans, and FIFA said a minute of silence would be observed before each of the two opening games.

“Clearly with the FIFA World Cup kicking off this evening, there are a lot of eyes on Auckland,” Hipkins said. “The government has spoken to FIFA organizers this morning and the tournament will proceed as planned.”

“I want to reiterate that there is no wider national security threat,” he added. “This appears to be the action of one individual.”

The shooting jarred New Zealand, where active shooter incidents are rare, leading the country’s the main news websites and broadcasts.

Hipkins said the man was armed with a shotgun, adding that police arrived within minutes of the first emergency call and ran into harm’s way to save lives.

The opening match will be contested between New Zealand and Norway at Eden Park, Auckland, on 20 July 2023.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons, who are based in Melbourne, Australia, will take on Olympic champions Canada in their opening game on Friday, July 21, at 3:30am (Nigerian time).

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