Auckland CBD Shooting Victims: Remembering Solomona Tootoo and Tupuga Sipiliano
On Thursday, a tragic shooting occurred in downtown Auckland, claiming the lives of two individuals. Today, we remember and honor Solomona Tootoo and Tupuga Sipiliano, the victims of this devastating incident.
Solomona Tootoo, a 45-year-old resident of Manurewa, and Tupuga Sipiliano, a 44-year-old individual from Wattle Downs, both lost their lives in the construction site shooting. As the police confirmed their identities after a formal process on Sunday, condolences were extended to their grieving families.
The fateful morning of the shooting sent shockwaves through the Auckland CBD. Gunshots echoed from the 21-story construction site located on the corner of Quay and Queen streets, alerting nearby individuals and authorities. Ten people suffered injuries during the incident, including a critically wounded police officer who faces a lengthy road to recovery. Currently, four individuals, including the officer, remain in the hospital.
Promptly responding to the situation, armed police officers, some of whom happened to be training nearby, swiftly arrived at the scene. They warned those in the vicinity to seek shelter or evacuate, safeguarding lives amidst the chaos. Construction workers sought cover within the building and on the roof while the police meticulously searched for the gunman, Matu Tangi Matua Reid.
Despite efforts to negotiate with Reid, he was ultimately discovered deceased in an elevator shaft. It was revealed that he had been a worker on the construction site, among the hundreds of contractors employed by various firms. While Reid’s motive for the shooting remains unclear, speculations suggest it centered around his employment at the site.
In the aftermath of this tragic event, authorities have been diligently investigating the scene, conducting extensive forensic examinations. Detective Superintendent Ross McKay has appealed to the public, urging individuals who may have witnessed the incident or possess relevant photographs or videos to come forward and assist with their inquiries. By submitting information through the designated channels, such as the online portal or by contacting the police directly, the public can contribute to the investigation.
During this challenging time, the affected individuals, including the workers and community members impacted by the shooting, are encouraged to seek support from the police. Assistance will be provided, connecting them with services such as Victim Support to aid in their healing process.
As we remember Solomona Tootoo and Tupuga Sipiliano, let us offer our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and the Auckland community. May their memories be a source of strength and unity as we work together to heal and prevent further acts of violence in our society.