Multiple people are feared dead after a gunman stormed a high-rise in Auckland’s CBD ahead of the Women’s World Cup opener.
Specialist officers were seen gathering at a building at 1 Queen Street near the Britmart shopping mall at 6am NZST on Thursday.
High-visibility traders were seen halfway up the currently-under-construction skyscraper as emergency services scrambled to the area below.
The gunman is believed to have attacked the high-rise building at 7:20 a.m. after sounding the fire alarm. The gunman’s death has not been confirmed.
Several people died on the spot and six others were injured, three were reported to be seriously injured.
A construction worker inside the highrise told local media that a man with a gun ran up the stairs and onto the floor.
It is feared that innocent bystanders may die in the shooting.
Heavily armed police have descended on the Auckland CBD after reports a gunman stormed a high-rise building ahead of the Women’s World Cup (pictured, an injured officer).
Specialist officers were seen gathering at a building at 1 Queen Street near the Britomart shopping mall at 6am NZST on Thursday morning (pictured).
Another tradie said she ran into the gunman on the stairs at around 7.20pm and was visibly shaken by the encounter.
He said the workers had started to descend the stairs of the tower when a man in a dark jacket approached and told them to get on the roof or he would shoot.
‘He looked like he was looking for someone,’ another worker told the NZ Herald.
Several workers at a construction site below were forced to take cover behind piles of building materials as police arrived on the scene.
A witness at the scene heard several gunshots shortly after 8am.
About 180 people are working on the tower, which is currently under construction.
It is scheduled to be played at 5pm AEST just hours before the opening game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup with New Zealand and Norway.
Former soccer fan Maia Jackman told local media that she was standing in the fan zone known as the Cloud at nearby Ghat when police swarmed the area.
‘It’s actually pretty scary. So they’ve pushed us behind the cloud where we are and we’re just trying to stay sane,’ Ms Jackman said.
‘There is a lot of security and a lot of uncertainty.’
A spokesperson for the US women’s soccer team, which is stationed near Britomart, said in a statement that all players and staff are safe and accounted for.
‘Our security team is liaising with local authorities and we are proceeding with our daily schedule,’ the spokesman said.
Several workers at a construction site were forced to take cover behind piles of building materials as emergency services swarmed the area (pictured).
A construction worker on the 14th floor of the skyscraper told local media that a man ran up the stairs ‘floor to floor’ with a gun (pictured, heavily armed police at the scene).
Auckland Central MP Chloe Swarbrick told emergency services to stay indoors in response to an unfolding incident.
‘We are in contact with the frontline and will update as necessary and appropriate,’ he tweeted shortly after 6am local time.
In a statement, NZ Police said the serious incident in the Auckland CBD was in a building on lower Queen Street which was currently under construction.
‘Police are asking all members of the public to avoid the lower Queen Street area and those in inner city buildings to remain inside their buildings at this time.
‘This is a significant incident with multiple emergency services responding.
There will be a heavy police presence in the area. Police will provide further updates only when we are in a position to do so.’
In a statement, NZ Police said the serious incident in the Auckland CBD was at a building on lower Queen Street which was currently under construction.
Several roads have been closed due to the serious incident, including Lower Hobson St, Quay St, Queen St and Lower Albert St (pictured, police cars at the scene).
A number of roads were closed due to the serious incident, including sections of Lower Hobson St, Quay St, Queen St and Lower Albert St.
All ferry services have been suspended until further notice.
Just after 9am local time, Auckland Transport said a police cordon had been extended from Customs Street to Gore Road.
More to come.
Read Full News Here