…By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
A tragic incident unfolded in Auckland just hours before the city was due to host the opening of the Women’s World Cup.
Two individuals were killed, and several others wounded in a public shooting, sending shockwaves through a city preparing for an international sporting event.
The authorities swiftly managed the situation, reassuring the public and the participating athletes of their safety.
Deadly Shooting in Auckland’s Commercial District
On Thursday morning, a harrowing event unfolded in Auckland’s lower Queen Street, a bustling hub in the city’s commercial district.
An armed individual opened fire at a building, resulting in the deaths of two individuals.
In addition to the fatalities, six others, including a police officer, were injured.
The assailant was confirmed dead at the scene, with the injured parties promptly transported to Auckland Hospital for medical attention.
Official Response and Reassurance
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, promptly addressed the incident.
Despite the tragic occurrence, he confirmed that there was no national security risk following an assessment by official agencies.
As such, New Zealand’s national security threat level remains unchanged.
Prime Minister Hipkins reassured the public, stating, “New Zealanders’ safety and the safety of our visitors is our first priority.
There will be an increased police presence obviously around Auckland to provide public reassurance, but the police have indicated that they don’t think there is an ongoing security or safety risk.”
Impact on the Women’s World Cup
The unfortunate incident took place mere hours before the much-anticipated 2023 Women’s World Cup was set to commence in Auckland.
Despite the morning’s shocking events, the Prime Minister insisted that the tournament would go ahead as planned, after consulting with FIFA officials.
He noted, “Clearly with the FIFA World Cup kicking off this evening there are a lot of eyes on Auckland…the government has spoken to FIFA organisers this morning and the tournament will proceed as planned.”
Reaction from Participating Teams
Several football teams and organizations expressed their concern and shock at the news.
New Zealand Football stated they were shocked by the incident, confirmed the safety of their team and staff, and pledged to continue preparations for the game.
The US Women’s Team also confirmed their team members’ safety and proceeded with their daily schedule, as did the English team, who sent their thoughts to the co-hosts and the people of Auckland.
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