USWNT’s Lynn Williams laments Auckland shooting, says US has ‘dealt with this far too many times’


Two members of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) reacted to the Auckland shooting that took the lives of two people on Thursday as the Women’s World Cup gets underway in New Zealand and Australia. 

Police say a 24-year-old armed man entered a construction site in Auckland at around 7:30 a.m. local time on Thursday. The suspect opened fire in a building, killing two people and injuring five more, including one officer who was injured during crossfire. 

Police officers cordon off an area near the site of a shooting on July 20, 2023, in Auckland, New Zealand. Three people, including the gunman, were dead, and six others were injured, following a shooting in Auckland as the city prepares for the opening match of the Women’s World Cup.  (Fu Tian/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

With the U.S. team scheduled to play Vietnam on Friday in their opening match of group play, USWNT forward Lynn Williams and defender Crystal Dunn expressed their condolences for the lives lost while trying to focus on the task at hand. 

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“There wasn’t really a conversation had,” Williams said when asked whether the team had discussed being able to focus on what’s ahead for the team following the shooting. “Unfortunately, I feel like in the U.S. we’ve dealt with this far too many times. But there was definitely a sense of like, ‘Let’s come together. We still have a job to do.’ But also recognizing that there was lives lost, and that is very real and very devastating.” 

“We were just thankful that we were safe. That the first responders came, and everything was very quick.”

​​Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said in an update on Thursday that there is “no reason” to believe there is an “ongoing risk” to the public and that the tournament should proceed as planned.

Lynn Williams practices

Lynn Williams, #6 of the United States, practices during a USWNT training session at Bay City Park on July 20, 2023, in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Robin Alam/USSF/Getty Images)

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“As Lynn touched on, this is very real, and our condolences are with the families of the victims and the lives that were lost,” Dunn said. “Everyone handles these situations differently. So, it’s important to realize that … to give people the space that they need to work through obviously the trauma that has occurred today. 

“But just understanding that we’re a unified team, and we give people the space that they need. And hopefully, today we’re able to get out on the pitch and just have ourselves a kick around and just try to be connected again in a tough day.”

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Crystal Dunn of the USWNT practices

Crystal Dunn, #19 of the United States, practices during a USWNT training session at Bay City Park on July 20, 2023, in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Robin Alam/USSF/Getty Images)

New Zealand opened the World Cup with an upset victory over Norway, New Zealand’s first-ever win at the Women’s World Cup

Police have not identified the suspect but said he was a 24-year-old man who had been working on the construction site. He was found barricaded in the building when police arrived on the scene. Officers engaged with the man after he opened fire, and he was later found dead.  

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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