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Auckland shooting: Three dead as city rocked by shooting before Women's World Cup

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says it is a 'very grim morning' for the country.

Three people are dead, including the gunman, and six are injured after a shooting rocked Auckland on Thursday morning.

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the attack was a "very grim morning" for the country, which left police officers injured.

Police cordoned off several streets in Auckland's CBD as they responded to what was described as a serious incident at a building and construction site.

A heavy police presence seen in Auckland.
A heavy police presence is on the scene this morning. Source: 1News

A heavy police presence, including armed officers and helicopters, was called upon amid the "significant incident with multiple emergency services responding."

"The serious incident in Auckland CBD this morning is currently contained to a building in lower Queen Street, which is under construction," a statement read.

"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."

The cordoned-off area included the Norwegian soccer team's hotel, with team captain Maren Mjelde saying players were awoken by the sound of helicopters.

"At first we didn't know what was going on," she said, adding the players remain focused on their upcoming opener.

Policías de Nueva Zelanda cierran el paso en una calle de Auckland, el jueves 20 de julio de 2023, tras un tiroteo. (AP Foto/Abbie Parr)
Armed police cordon off the area with a World Cup team bus in the background. Source: AP (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Terrified commuters flee the scene

Locals reported hearing gunshots about 8am, with media broadcasting workers at the building site hiding behind packs of pre-mix cement under police supervision.

Australian Erin Sokolowsky was on her way to work when the chaos unfolded.

“Within a minute of walking past (the construction site), waiting for the lights, gunfire started and people started running left, right and centre," she said.

“They said five shots. It sounded like more than that. Really loud and felt really close and we couldn’t hear or see where it was coming from. “The best thing we can do is run and hid behind a wall and hightail it out of there.”

The bloody incident unfolded on a building under construction in lower Queen Street which runs through the CBD.

"Multiple injuries have been reported and at this stage we can confirm two people have died. The male offender is also deceased," a police spokesperson told local media.

"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 reportedly fired from the man and he found dead shortly after.

Workers were broadcast hiding under police guard at the construction site.
Workers were broadcast hiding under police guard at the construction site. Source: 1News

'Pretty scary'

The incident has taken place as Auckland prepares to host the opening game of the Women's World Cup later on Thursday.

The FIFA Fan Festival is nearby, with former NZ international Maia Jackson telling the NZ Herald she was nearby.

"It's pretty scary actually. So they pushed us to the back of the cloud where we are and we're just trying to keep sane," she said.

"There's lots of security and lots of uncertainty."

With AAP and NCA Newswire

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