Thursday, July 18, 2024

Mass shooter was serving home detention sentence in east Auckland

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
Matu Reid shot and killed two people at a construction site in downtown Auckland on July 20. Photo supplied

Police are working to identify what led a man who was serving a sentence of home detention in Flat Bush to carry out a mass shooting in downtown Auckland.

Matu Reid, 24, entered a commercial building on lower Queen Street armed with a pump-action shotgun shortly after 7am on July 20.

Police responded to reports of an active shooter at about 7.22am as Reid moved through the building discharging his firearm.

Numerous armed officers swarmed the area.

They encountered Reid in an elevator shaft in the building and exchanged gunfire with him.

He was later found dead. Police found two civilians who had been working at the building dead on the lower floors.

The two workers killed in the attack have since been named as Solomona Tootoo, 45, and Tupuga Sipiliano, 44. Both men lived in South Auckland.

“Police extend sincere condolences to the families, who are grieving the loss of their loved ones,” Detective Superintendent Ross McKay says.

Multiple people, including two police officers, were injured during the incident and were taken to hospital for medical treatment.

The Times understands a police officer shot by Reid sustained an injury to his jaw.

Following the incident, it emerged Reid had previously admitted charges of wilful damage, male assaults female, impeding breathing, and injuring with intent to injure.

The charges stemmed from a domestic violence incident in which he had kicked and strangled a woman.

A bone in her neck was broken during the attack.

The crime of strangulation carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.

Reid was sentenced at the Auckland High Court in March to five months’ home detention, which he was to carry out at a property in Flat Bush.

He was allowed as part of his sentence to work at the construction site where he carried out the shooting on July 20.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says Reid did not possess a firearms licence.

In a statement provided to the Times, Department of Corrections acting national commissioner Sean Mason says he expresses his deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims of the shooting.

Corrections’ chief probation officer is carrying out a full review into Reid’s management, Mason says.

“He was sentenced in court to five months’ home detention for family violence offending on March 28.

“He was subject to 10 standard conditions, plus … five special conditions.”

Those conditions were to not possess, consume, or use any alcohol or drugs not prescribed to him; to attend and complete an appropriate alcohol and drug programme; attend and complete an appropriate non-violence programme, to not associate with or contact a specific person without the prior written approval of a probation officer; and to reside at a specific address.

“While our full review is yet to be undertaken, initial information suggests community Corrections staff managed his compliance with these conditions closely,” Mason says.

“He was in frequent contact with staff, and was required to report in to his probation officer twice every 10 days.”

Mason says Reid had completed an alcohol and other drug programme, and had been drug tested twice during his sentence, with negative results on both occasions.

He was also actively engaged in a non-violence programme.

“While initial indications are community Corrections staff were appropriately monitoring and managing his risk, the full review being carried out by our chief probation officer will identify any action we can take to help prevent a horrific tragedy like this from happening again.”

More from Times Online


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -