Saturday, December 9, 2023

Luxon extends condolences to victims of Auckland CBD shooting

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Multiple people have died during a shooting in Auckland’s CBD this morning. Times file photo

Botany MP and National Party leader Christopher Luxon says his thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the people killed and injured during a fatal shooting in Auckland’s CBD this morning.

Police responded to an active shooter incident at a commercial building on lower Queen Street, downtown Auckland, at about 7.22am.

Acting Superintendent Sunny Patel, Relieving Auckland District Commander, says: “Police have contained a serious incident that unfolded at a construction site in Auckland’s CBD this morning.

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

“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.

“Further shots were fired from the male and 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.”

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said this morning the shooter had been armed with a pump-action shotgun.

Luxon says like all Kiwis he’s been following the serious situation that unfolded in downtown Auckland this morning.

“My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those killed and injured, and all who have been affected by this tragedy.

“I want to acknowledge the bravery of police and thank them and all first-responders for their commitment on the frontline.

“We will know more as the day unfolds – but for now we must do what Kiwis do best: come together and support people who have been affected in this terrible incident.

“Police are asking the public to keep away from the scene.

“Please follow their instructions as they get on with the job of providing the answers to the questions we all have.”

In a second update issued today, Patel said police can confirm an officer has been injured, as well as four members of the public at this stage.

“The police officer was transported to hospital in a critical condition, but we can advise his condition has stabilised.

“The four members of the public have injuries ranging from moderate to critical.

“At least one of these people has self-presented to Auckland City Hospital with moderate injuries.

“While the situation and scene is still under active police management, we know that there may be more victims yet to make themselves known to police and these injury statuses may change.

“The building site has now been secured and a scene examination is now underway.

“A police critical incident investigation has been launched and as part of this we are working to understand the circumstances behind the offender’s actions.

“There are upwards of 40 witnesses who were at or around the scene and they are in the process of being spoken to as part of this investigation.

“Police are still confirming the sequence of events in which the offender died, and we will continue to provide updates.

“As we have previously advised this is not a national security risk.

“Police are liaising with the families of the victims, including that of the deceased, and we have engaged with Victim Support. Support is in place for our officer.

“Police enquiries will likely continue for the coming days, and we will be contacting those who were working on site and in the surrounding area.

“Police are reassuring the public that they can continue to come into the CBD.

“However, please stay clear of the police cordon at the lower part of Queen Street while our work continues at the scene.

“Police are in the process of speaking to the large number of witnesses.

“However, if there is anyone who was involved or witnessed today’s events, and they haven’t made themselves known to police, we ask that you please contact us via 105 as soon as you can.”

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster is expected to speak to news media at the Auckland City Police Hub in Freemans Bay at 1pm today.

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