New Zealand Shooting: Police Kill Suspect, PM Says Stabbing Is “Terrorist Attack”
By Staff, Agencies
A man believed to have attacked several people with a knife in a New Zealand supermarket was shot and killed by responding officers, police have confirmed, adding that “multiple” victims were injured in the incident.
“This incident is still unfolding at this time. However, Police can confirm that a man has entered a New Lynn supermarket and injured multiple people,” authorities said in a statement on Friday afternoon, referring to an Auckland suburb.
At least four people were brought to hospital with life-threatening injuries after the apparent attack, according to local media reports, with the New Zealand Herald noting that at least one person suffered a stab wound, while Newstalk ZB reported that two people had been shot. The exact circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the event as a "terrorist attack" by a Sri Lankan national who was under surveillance.
The man, who cannot be identified, is said to have been inspired by the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for "ISIS" / "ISIL"] terrorist group.
PM Ardern said he was killed within 60 seconds of the attack by police.
"What happened today was despicable, it was hateful it was wrong," said PM Ardern in a press conference on Friday afternoon.
She said the man, whose identity cannot be revealed due to suppression orders, had arrived in New Zealand in October 2011 and became a person of national security interest in 2016.
He had been under constant monitoring and heavy surveillance due to concerns about his ideology.
However, questions have been raised about why action against him was not taken before six people were injured.
"The reality is, that when you are surveilling someone on a 24/7 basis, it is not possible to be immediately next to them at all times. The staff intervened as quickly as they could and they prevented further injury in what was a terrifying situation," said Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.