The two men killed in an Auckland shooting spree at a construction site on Thursday have been named.
Solomona Tootoo, 45 and Tupuga Sipiliano, 44, both of whom live in Auckland, were shot by Matu Tangi Matua Reid, 24. Ten other people were wounded during the 40-minute rampage at the 21-level One Queen St building.
“Police extend sincere condolences to the families, who are grieving the loss of their loved ones,” said Detective Superintendent Ross McKay after police completed formal identification of the victims.
Meanwhile, friends and family wrote on Sipiliano’s Facebook page: “Gone too soon. Rest in peace”.
Tootoo and Sipiliano were colleagues of the gunman.
Four other victims are being treated in hospital, including a police officer who was shot.
Another police officer is recovering at home, the NZ Herald reported.
The alleged shooter, Reid, had been sacked just one day before he embarked on his terrifying rampage.
Reid, 24, entered the under-construction building just after 7.20am (5.20am AEST) on Thursday morning and began shooting at people with a pump-action shotgun.
Armed police stormed the area and rushed members of the public to safety. Reid barricaded himself in a third-floor elevator where he was found dead after exchanging fire with police.
At the time of the mass shooting — which occurred as the eyes of the world were on Auckland hours before the kick-off of the FIFA Women‘s World Cup — Reid was wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet because he was serving a community-based home detention sentence for domestic violence.
New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster told reporters on Thursday afternoon that Reid had worked at the site and had an exemption to attend the location.
“The individual is known for primarily family violence history,” he said. “There is nothing to suggest that he has presented a higher-level risk than was indicated by that history.”
However a day earlier, Reid lost his job at the construction site, which made Commissioner Coster think “workplace tension” may have sparked the horrific shooting, according to TVNZ breakfast.
The Commissioner’s revelations followed the emergence of shocking footage which captured the moment a team of specialist police prepared to face Reid who was in an elevator shaft at the time. At least 10 officers in black riot gear were captured subtly scouring one of the floors of the Commercial Bay tower behind a male plain-clothed officer in a bullet proof vest.
The 28 second clip revealed the officers had their rifles drawn as they searched for the armed man.
Court documents obtained by New Zealand media outlets have shed more light on the details of his prior offending — and why Reid avoided jail time despite leaving a woman with serious injuries in the 2021 assault for which he was serving a sentence.
He was sentenced in the Auckland District Court earlier this year after admitting to charges of “impeding breathing, injuring with intent to injure, wilful damage, and male assaults female”.
Reid was sentenced to five months’ home detention on March 28.
The violent attack occurred on September 16, 2021.
He was staying at a property on the North Shore along with the parents of his girlfriend, who also stayed there a few nights a week.
At around 11.30pm, Reid became angry at what the woman was saying and pushed her off a chair, causing her to hit the dressing table and wall.
As she got up off the ground and tried to tell him to stop, he kicked her in the stomach. While she was on the bed, he stood over her and used both his hands and gripped and squeezed her throat for 10 seconds.
However, according to a report from Stuff.co.nz, Judge Steve Bonnar said was satisfied Reid needed help to address any issues that he has, and said home detention was an appropriate sentence.
“I do not want to send a young man like you, with a limited history, to prison. I think it would be counter-productive and actually set you down the wrong path.
“But you need to realise, Mr Reid, you need to turn your life around from here because if you commit further offences of violence in the future, things are just going to get worse and you could well end up going to jail.”