Two killed in New Zealand shooting were co-workers of gunman

Two Killed In New Zealand Shooting Were Co-Workers Of Gunman
Auckland shooting scenes
Share this article

By Nick Perry, AP

The two men who were killed at a New Zealand construction site were in their 40s and had worked alongside the gunman before he went on his rampage, police have said.

Court records also detailed the gunman’s violent past.


New Zealanders are still in shock over the shooting on Thursday, which closed part of Auckland hours before the opening game of the Women’s World Cup, which was held in the city under increased security.

The gunman stormed the high-rise building in the early morning, opening fire on terrified workers before dying after a police shootout.

An officer who was shot and wounded in the encounter is in a stable condition in hospital.

Three civilians also remain in hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while two more have been released, authorities said.


Armed police
Armed New Zealand police officers stand outside a hotel housing a team from the FIFA Women’s World Cup (AP)

Police have yet to formally identify the gunman but did not dispute reports it was Matu Reid, 24, who was serving a home detention sentence but had an exemption to work at the building site.

Court records obtained by news organisation Stuff show Reid was found guilty of domestic violence after beating and strangling his then-girlfriend in 2021.


The records indicate he used weapons including scissors and a wine bottle, punched her, kicked her in the stomach and squeezed her throat for about 10 seconds, causing her to fear for her life.

Reid said something along the lines of: “You don’t know what I’m capable of,” to the woman, the records show, according to Stuff. The woman escaped from Reid and called police.

A judge in March sentenced Reid to five months’ home detention.

“I do not want to send a young man like you, with a limited history, to prison,” the judge said in his sentencing notes. “I think it would be counter-productive and actually set you down the wrong path.”


Shooting scene
The gunman was killed by officers (AP)

Police did not say if there was an immediate trigger for the man’s rampage, although some media reported he had recently been sacked from his job at the building site.

New Zealand prime minister Chris Hipkins said the shooting was an isolated act, and the Fifa football tournament opened as scheduled on Thursday night with a game between the home team and Norway.


New Zealand has tight gun laws, imposed in 2019 after the country’s worst mass shooting prompted a sea change in attitudes toward firearms.

In that attack, a gunman killed 51 Muslim worshippers at two Christchurch mosques during Friday prayers.

The prime minister at the time, Jacinda Ardern, vowed to ban most semiautomatic weapons within a month and she succeeded, with only a single member of Parliament voting against the ban.

A subsequent buyback scheme saw gun owners hand over more than 50,000 of the newly banned weapons to police in exchange for cash.

Officers said the gunman in Thursday’s attack had used a type of shotgun that is not banned under the new laws.

But he did not have a gun licence and so should not have been in possession of a firearm, police added.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by