Shark Kills Film Director at New Zealand Beach: 'The Water Was Red,' Says Witness

Local authorities in New Zealand have closed a popular beach after a horrific shark attack left a father dead and a community in mourning.

Adam Strange, a 46-year-old father of one and an award-winning short film director, was attacked and killed by a shark that was thought to be a great white. He was killed off the shores of a popular beach in Auckland, resulting in the first shark death to strike the area since 1976.

Police indicate that Strange was swimming roughly 220 yards offshore at Muriwai Beach, just west of Auckland, when he was attacked. Onlookers report that the water immediately turned red as two other sharks reportedly joined in the attack, but video only captured one shark in the waters at the time.

New Zealand Police Inspector Shawn Rutene told NBC News that local lifeguards and police officers immediately jumped into inflatable boats to stop the horrific attack, but were too late.

Police reportedly even fired rounds at the shark, but the large sea animal quickly rolled over and disappeared into the blue.

Pio Mose, who had been fishing on nearby rocks when the attack occurred roughly 50 yards from him, told The Newcastle Herald that he witnessed a grizzly sight of blood.

"I yelled at him to swim to the rocks. There was blood everywhere," Mose told The Newcastle Herald. "The water was red. It's pretty scary."

Authorities have closed Muriwai beach and the waters surrounding it for an undisclosed period of time as friends and family of Strange gathered on the beach and held a memorial service on Friday.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation told CNN that fatal shark attacks in the country are rare; there have only been 20 shark attack deaths in more than 175 years in New Zealand.