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At least two people have been shot dead in Auckland after a gunman entered a construction site in the city centre on Thursday morning.
Police have reported two people have died and the male offender is also deceased.
Witnesses reported that a man wielding a shotgun entered a construction building at approximately 7.20am local time.
Police say the gunmen fired multiple shots as he moved through a building on Queen Street. Upon reaching the upper levels of the building, the man is reported to have contained himself within an elevator shaft.
Police report their officers attempted to engage with the shooter. Further shots were fired from the male and he was located deceased a short time later, they say.
Local news outlets have reported the man responsible was a 24-year-old, however, that is yet to be confirmed.
The incident which shut down the CBD is not reported to be terrorism related.
Police have issued a statement saying the incident has been contained and was an isolated incident.
“We can also advise that this is not a national security risk,” they said.
“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.”
Construction workers watch the police respond to the incident in Auckland’s CBD.Credit: Stuff.co.nz
St John’s Ambulance service earlier reported that there had been multiple people injured in the hooting.
“The serious incident in Auckland CBD this morning is currently contained to a building in lower Queen Street, which is under construction,” Auckland City District Police said on Facebook.
“Police ask all members of the public to avoid the lower Queen Street area and for those in downtown inner-city buildings to remain inside their buildings at this time.
“This is a significant incident with multiple emergency services responding.
“A large police presence will remain in the area.
Police cars block Auckland Central streets as a serious incident unfolds. Credit: Stuff.co.nz
“Police will provide a further update as soon as we are in a position to do so.”
One employee of a local business has been told by police that an offender, suspected to be a gunman, “is down”.
Multiple people working on a construction site in the city have been trapped on the rooftop since the incident unfolded.
One man who was inside the building has reported the gunman “looked like he was looking for someone”.
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said this is a scary situation for Aucklanders on their Thursday morning commute to work.
“Please remain calm, follow the instructions of police and emergency services.
“Stay at home and avoid travel into the city centre. Auckland Transport has advised that there is a full cordon in the area.”
The incident occurred ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is due to begin today in Auckland, drawing international attention to the city.
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has cancelled his travel to Hamilton in response to the unfolding incident.
The prime minister’s office says Hipkins will be briefed by officials on the latest information regarding the incident in the Auckland CBD and will provide comment to media following that.
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