Tragically, a fatal shooting occurred at a construction site on Queen Street in downtown Auckland shortly before the much-anticipated opening match of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The incident took place just hours before the scheduled kickoff at 7:00 pm (local time) at the renowned Eden Park Stadium in the city.
The Vietnamese squad is currently accommodated at The Rydges Hotel, situated within a mere 600 meters’ proximity to the shooting site.
The Vietnamese head coach, Mai Duc Chung, was promptly notified of the shooting incident, after which the Vietnamese football team was instructed to remain securely in their designated location.
The individuals are currently being safeguarded by the New Zealand police force.
Following the clearance, the Vietnamese team resumed training at the exclusive Fred Taylor Park in Auckland, New Zealand.
|The Vietnamese women’s national football team were confirmed safe following a fatal shooting in Auckland, New Zealand, July 20, 2023. Photo: Trung Nghia / Tuoi Tre|
Despite having a scheduled break in the afternoon, many of the Vietnamese players decided to postpone their plans and take a stroll around the city to purchase souvenirs.
Vi An, a communications student at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), stated in an interview with the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that she was in class at the time of the shooting incident.
In response to the situation, the university of AUT acted swiftly by instituting a shelter-in-place directive for its students. Additionally, a dedicated security team was deployed to the campus to ensure the safety of all individuals present. As a precautionary measure, the streets adjacent to the university were also secured and restricted to public access.
The individual mentioned that her family had purchased more than 20 tickets for the World Cup opening ceremony. Despite the unfortunate incident of the shooting, she expressed continued enthusiasm for the upcoming game.
The tragic incident of the fatal shooting has deeply saddened the people of New Zealand, who take great pride in their nation’s reputation for safety, peace, and the absence of gun violence.
“I am confident that the New Zealand police will take all necessary measures to ensure the smooth execution of the opening match and the entire tournament,” stated Vi.
According to Reuters, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed that the football tournament would proceed as scheduled. He also stated that the shooting incident seemed to have been carried out by an individual acting alone, and that the police were not pursuing any other suspects in connection with the incident.
During a televised media briefing, Hipkins stated that the shooting had no discernible political or ideological motivation, and as a result, posed no national security risk.
According to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, a 24-year-old male, believed to be an employee at the construction site, was involved in the shooting incident that resulted in both his and the gunman’s death. This information was reported by Reuters during a press conference.