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The New Zealand police have confirmed that three people are dead following a shooting in downtown Auckland just hours before the opening match of the Women’s World Cup. New Zealand and Australia are co-hosting the tournament.
Police shared that the situation was contained to one building under construction close to a World Cup fan zone that had not yet opened for the day. Norway’s team was staying in a hotel near where the incident unfolded.
New Zealand authorities tweeted that there are multiple injuries while also confirming the deaths of two people and that the male shooter, 24, is also deceased.
Police have not identified the suspect but said the man was working on the construction site. He was found barricaded in the building when police arrived on the scene. Officers engaged with the man after he opened fire, and he was later found dead.
Norway and New Zealand still took the field at nearby Eden Park Stadium for the opening match of the tournament, with the Football Ferns winning the match 1-0. The win was New Zealand’s first-ever win in a World Cup despite having played in five World Cups prior.
Shortly after details of the shooting were shared, U.S. Soccer Comms tweeted that USWNT players and staff are “accounted for and safe.”
The USWNT opens its World Cup journey on Friday against Vietnam. The Americans, a favorite to win the tournament, are in Group E alongside Portugal, Netherlands, and Vietnam.