Two people are dead and another seriously injured after being shot in the Ashburton WINZ office:
. . . A balaclava-clad man carrying a sawn-off shotgun entered the Work and Income office on the corner of Cass and Moore streets and fired several shots before fleeing on a bike.
The gunman was last seen heading towards the Ashburton river. Shots have reportedly been heard since coming from the river.
A source told Fairfax Media that one person was shot dead on site and another died at Ashburton Hospital.
Police confirmed that two people had been killed and the third person was in hospital. . . .
This is firstly a tragedy for those who died, their family friends and workmates.
It is also a shock for the community and other public servants:
Ashburton District Mayor Angus McKay said he felt “weak at the knees” when he heard about the shooting at the town’s Work and Income office.
“Ashburton is not this kind of town,” he said.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett called it “an extreme situation and tragedy”, adding that all resources were going into looking after WINZ staff.
She was travelling down to the town this afternoon.
Public Service Association (PSA) said the shooting was a tragedy and nobody should go to work in fear that they might not return home.
PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff said “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy,”
“We don’t know what the cause is, but we will be supporting our members from Ashburton Work and Income at this terrible time. . . .
This has already been used for political point scoring on Twitter.
It shouldn’t be.
No political views justify killing innocent people at work.
It’s a tragedy.