Two killed in shooting as New Zealand city hosts World Cup opener

A gunman killed two people and wounded six others at a building site in central Auckland Thursday, hours before New Zealand's biggest city was to host the opening match of the 2023 FIFA football World Cup.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the gunman died at the scene and there was no national security threat, so the marquee tournament would go ahead as planned.

The still-unnamed 24-year-old shooter tore through the waterfront property with a shotgun in the early morning, plunging the busy centre of New Zealand's largest city into lockdown.

A police officer was said to be among those seriously injured and rushed to hospital. His condition was said to be stable.

Little is known about the motive of the attack, but it is not believed to be directly linked to the World Cup or to have been politically or ideologically motivated.

But the gunman was known to police and said to have had a history of family violence and mental health issues.

Police said he had been subject to a home detention order but had an exemption to work at the site. He did not have a license to own a firearm.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said there was "nothing to suggest he presented a higher-level risk".

Prime Minister Hipkins expressed shock and "deep sorrow" at the rare mass shooting in New Zealand.

But he insisted the World Cup, which is being co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia, would go ahead.

"Aucklanders and those watching around the world can be assured that the police have neutralised the threat and that they are not seeking anyone else in relation to the incident," he said.

The "assessment from officials is that there is no national security risk. There is no change to New Zealand's national security...

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