One witness described scenes of “mass hysteria” in a supermarket in Auckland with wounded lying bleeding on the floor – three people fighting for their lives in the hospital
Image: RNZ / Veronica Schmidt)
A violent extremist who carried out an “IS-inspired” terrorist attack on a shopping mall and stabbed several people in the process was shot dead by police.
Shoppers screamed in fear and fled for their lives from the supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand, after several people were attacked by a man armed with a knife.
Three people are said to be in critical condition in the hospital, one in severe and two in “moderate” condition.
In a press conference, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the attack was “ISIS inspired” and motivated by “violent ideology”.
She said, “It was hateful, it was wrong. It was done by an individual, not a belief.”
She added that he had been monitored by police prior to the attack.
Speaking to local media, a witness said there had been scenes of “mass hysteria” in which people lay on the ground and suffered stab wounds.
Another witness said that “people panicked” when police officers swarmed into the mall and rushed to the site of the attack.
Michelle Miller, who went shopping during the mayhem, said the attacker “ran around like a madman” and described hearing screams.
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An eyewitness told RNZ that she saw a man armed with a knife walking around and heard many people screaming.
“He just lost the plot about drugs … I don’t know,” a witness told a reporter at the point of sale, saying that a man “ran around with a knife.”
New Zealand police said they shot the man after injuring several people in a mall in Auckland city.
Six people are said to have been hospitalized. Exact victims are currently unknown.
Witness reports that Tim, who refused to use his last name, said he saw an elderly man lying on the floor with a stab wound in his abdomen.
RNZ / Richard Sutherland)
Another injured person, a middle-aged woman, was reportedly stabbed in the shoulder.
He said: “[People were] Leaving, hysterical, just screaming, screaming, scared. The police came just before I wanted to try to find the guy. “
Another witness, Brittany Denyer, was about to park to enter the store when she said police officers ran up to her and told her to “hurry up and evacuate immediately.”
She said, “People were panicking and it was a traffic collapse trying to get out of New Lynn. Police and ambulance [were] everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.
“I was told by another police officer while waiting to be distracted that someone was stabbed.
“Police cars kept coming and people ran away from the mall and tried to leave the area.
“I’m very grateful that I didn’t arrive five minutes earlier because I would have been inside. It would have been so scary for anyone in the mall. “
In a statement, the officers said, “The police can confirm that a man entered a supermarket in New Lynn and injured several people.
“The police found the man and he was shot. He died on the scene.”
The attack is said to have occurred on Friday before 2:40 p.m.
A spokesman for Kiwi Property, which owns the Lynn Mall, is said to have been made aware of an incident at the Countdown supermarket on Friday afternoon and that no mall employees were injured.
“The matter is now in the hands of the police and we will continue to give them our full support,” he said.
Kiri Hannifin, General Manager Safety at Countdown, said in a statement: “We are devastated by what happened in our Lynnmall store today.
“Our heart is again difficult to know what our team and our customers have seen and gone through. Our thoughts go with the injured and their families and we will support our entire Lynnmall team.
“In the last few weeks in particular, Kiwis have shown our team so much gratitude and friendliness, and we are particularly devastated that something like this has happened again in one of our stores. It’s hard to understand and today’s events leave our entire team in deep shock.
“The safety of our team and our customers is always a priority, and this is also at the heart of our COVID-19 response. We will work with the police in every possible way to understand what happened point we cannot provide any further information.
“Countdown Lynnmall is closed until further notice.”
Police said the incident was still ongoing and the exact details of the attack had not yet been confirmed.