The man at the centre of a downtown Auckland shooting rampage at a construction site earlier today was Matu Tangi Matua Reid, aged 24.
Reid died in a lift shaft after shooting several civilians and at least one police officer in the high-rise construction site on Thursday morning.
At the time of the shooting he was serving a sentence of five months’ home detention for domestic violence charges, handed down in the Auckland District Court on March 28.
He had approval to travel from the property he was serving home detention at in South Auckland to the building site.
His home detention sentence was monitored via an ankle bracelet monitor.
In a statement, construction company LT McGuiness said the gunman was an employee of a subcontractor that had been working on the project.
“Today’s tragic event has been a huge shock to us all,” the company said in a statement.
“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and all those impacted by the incident that occurred on our site this morning.”
Reid had appeared for sentencing in the Auckland District Court earlier this year after admitting charges of impeding breathing, injuring with intent to injure, wilful damage, and male assaults female.
He was sentenced to five months’ home detention on the four charges when he appeared for sentence before Judge Stephen Bonnar KC on March 28.
Home detention generally requires sentenced offenders to remain at their approved home address, but there can be provisions allowing people to continue employment at a designated, approved workplace.
A Corrections spokesperson told the Herald the incident was “subject to active police investigation”.
“As a result, at this early stage Corrections is not able to provide any comment.”
Turn Your Life Around Youth Development Trust co-general manager Jolene Cartwright told the Herald she learned that Reid was the gunman.
“We’re all actually very devastated at the moment. It was some years ago, sort of 2017, when the young man was last on our programme, but we’re all still kind of reeling from all of that.
“We feel really devastated regarding the situation and everyone involved. It’s pretty traumatic at this point.
“It’s a complete set of tragic circumstances all around.”
The trust, established in 1996, aims to reduce the number of youth offenders in New Zealand.
“We work tirelessly to identify these at-risk youth who are on a pathway to crime.”
Acting Auckland district commander Superintendent Sunny Patel said the incident unfolded after reports of a person discharging a firearm inside the building site on lower Queen St at 7.22am.
A significant number of police responded and cordoned off the area. The Police Eagle helicopter was also deployed and provided oversight.
“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 fired from the male and he was located deceased a short time later.”
Patel said details were still emerging.
“What has unfolded is understandably alarming and we are reassuring the public that this incident has been contained and is an isolated incident.
“We can also advise that this is not a national security risk.”
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins told media the offender was armed with a pump-action shotgun.
Today’s incidents appeared to be the actions of one individual and police were not seeking anyone else, he said.
His understanding was that there was no identified “political or ideological motivation” for the shooter and as such, there was no need to change the national security risk.
“I want to thank the brave men and women of the New Zealand Police.
“Police who ran into fire from the gunman straight into harm’s way in order to save the lives of others,” Hipkins said.
“These kinds of situations move fast and the actions of those who risk their lives to save others are nothing short of heroic.”
George Block is an Auckland-based reporter with a focus on police, the courts, prisons and defence. He joined the Herald in 2022 and has previously worked at Stuff in Auckland and the Otago Daily Times in Dunedin.
Sam Sherwood is a Christchurch-based reporter who covers crime. He is a senior journalist who joined the Herald in 2022, and has worked as a journalist for 10 years.