2 dead in New Zealand shooting were co-workers of gunman, who had violent past

Police officers outside a hotel in Auckland, New Zealand
Police officers stand outside a hotel housing a team competing in the Women’s World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand.
(Abbie Parr / Associated Press)
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The two men gunned down at a New Zealand construction site shortly before the opening of the Women’s World Cup had worked alongside the shooter, police said Friday, and court records showed that the gunman had been convicted of domestic violence for attacking a girlfriend.

New Zealanders were still in shock at Thursday’s rare shooting, which closed part of downtown Auckland hours before the opening game of the Women’s World Cup, which was held under increased security. Police didn’t say if there was an immediate trigger for the man’s rampage, although some media reported that he had recently been fired from his job at the site.

The gunman stormed the high-rise building in the early morning, opening fire on terrified workers. He was found dead after a police shootout.


An officer who was shot and wounded remained hospitalized in stable condition Friday. Three civilians also remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, while two more had been released from the hospital, authorities said.

Police told the Associated Press that they had yet to formally identify the gunman but did not dispute reports that 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 the news organization Stuff show that Reid was found guilty of domestic violence after beating 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.

The Women’s World Cup opened with pomp despite the circumstances Thursday, kicking off less than 12 hours after a mass shooting in Auckland’s scenic harbor district.

July 20, 2023

The woman escaped from Reid and called police from a gas station.

A judge in March sentenced Reid to five months in 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 counterproductive and actually set you down the wrong path.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the shooting was an isolated act, and the soccer tournament opened as scheduled Thursday night with a game between the home team and Norway.

The man who slaughtered 51 Muslim worshipers during the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand’s history is appealing his conviction and sentence.

Nov. 8, 2022

More than 40,000 people, including the prime minister, attended — the largest crowd ever for a soccer match in New Zealand. It ended with a historic win for the home team, its first in a World Cup game.


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

Police said the gunman in Thursday’s attack had used a type of shotgun that is not banned under the new laws. But he didn’t have a gun license and so shouldn’t have been in possession of a firearm, police added.