Extremist on New Zealand terror watchlist shot dead after supermarket knife rampage

3 September 2021, 06:34 | Updated: 3 September 2021, 09:51

Police at the scene of the stabbing bloodbath at the supermarket in Auckland
Police at the scene of the stabbing bloodbath at the supermarket in Auckland. Picture: Getty
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

An extremist said to be 'inspired by ISIS' has been shot dead in New Zealand after stabbing several people at a supermarket in Auckland.

At least six people were injured at a Countdown store in New Lynn, according to local reports.

Three of the victims are described as 'critical' with neck and chest wounds. 

Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern confirmed at a press conference that it was a "terrorist attack" and that the assailant was a "violent extremist" who was under surveillance around the clock.

Staff at the supermarket were visibly distressed following the stabbings
Staff at the supermarket were visibly distressed following the stabbings. Picture: Getty

She said the man, identified only as 'S', was a Sri Lankan national who was inspired by Isis and was known to the nation’s security agencies.

Ms Ardern, who apologised for the attack, added that, by law, the individual was not allowed to be kept in prison.

She said the attacker is considered one of the nation's most dangerous extremists and had been watched 24/7 since 2016. He arrived in New Zealand in 2011.

The PM explained that the offender was shot by police within 60 seconds of the attacks taking place.

The stabbings took place within a Countdown supermarket in Auckland
The stabbings took place within a Countdown supermarket in Auckland. Picture: Getty

"What happened today was despicable, it was hateful it was wrong," she said during a press conference on Friday afternoon.

Footage posted on social media apparently recorded in the shopping centre records the sound of 10 gunshots being fired in quick succession.

Auckland is currently under strict lockdown restrictions amid a coronavirus outbreak, meaning most businesses are shut.

The attacker became a person of national security interest in 2016, Ms Ardern confirmed.

Police responded to the stabbings within 60 seconds, Ms Ardern said
Police responded to the stabbings within 60 seconds, Ms Ardern said. Picture: Getty

Questions have immediately been raised as to why actions were not taken earlier to prevent him from carrying out the stabbings.

Responding, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said: "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."

One eyewitness, who claimed to see an elderly man lying on the ground with a stab wound, described a scene of hysteria to news outlet Stuff NZ: "[People were] running out, hysterically, just screaming, yelling, scared."

Countdown's general manger of safety, Kiri Hannifin said she was "devastated by what's taken place in our Lynnmall store. We will be supporting all of our LynnMall team... Countdown Lynnmall will be closed until further notice."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses the media after receiving the results of the European Parliament elections

Top EU court fines Hungary 200m euros for flouting asylum law

Moment 'dine and dash' family are caught on camera demolish fried breakfasts, sides and five cokes before fleeing café without paying at Cafe No.35

Moment 'dine and dash' family demolish fried breakfasts, sides and five cokes before fleeing café without paying bill

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin (left) arrives for bilateral talks on the sidelines of a Nato defence ministers' meeting in Brussels

Nato defence ministers thrash out Ukraine security aid and training support plan

Middle terrace at ruins of Ancient Kameiros, Kalavarda, Rhodes (Rodos), The Dodecanese, South Aegean Region, Greece

Rhodes hit by 4.8-magnitude earthquake as holidaymakers describe 'the whole airport shaking'

A tourist fans a companion in front of the the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens

Heatwave forces Greek authorities to shut Acropolis in afternoon for second day

Paramilitary police officers patrol near Borgo Egnazia, venue of the G7 summit in Puglia, southern Italy

G7 summit opens with deal to use frozen Russian assets for Ukraine

'Economically Brexit's working': Nigel Farage says but claims it has 'not been properly implimented'

'Economically Brexit's working': Nigel Farage says but claims it has 'not been properly implemented'

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa meets senior officials of his African National Congress party

South African parties cobble together unity government before electing president

Nigel Farage says Germans should 'get a sense of humour' amid calls for football fans who chant 'Ten German Bombers' to be prosecuted

Nigel Farage says Germans need to 'get a sense of humour' if football fans sing Ten German Bombers chant

Farage says he’d lead a 'centre-right' party to could stand against Labour… as he blames Cameron and Osborne for turning the Tories socialist democrat party

Nigel Farage reveals he would be lead a Conservative-Reform merged party

Nigel Farage in the LBC studio today and (right) on the Reform UK campaign bus in Barnsley, South Yorkshire this week

'This is how ordinary people speak': Farage defends Reform UK candidates after anti-Islam and far-right comments exposed

Reform UK candidate Steve Chilcott said ‘Islam and Nazis are the same thing’ in comments in 2017

Reform candidate rants that ‘Islam and Nazis are the same thing’ in unearthed footage

'PM’s don’t always get decisions right': David Cameron defends Rishi Sunak’s handling of D-Day commemorations

'PMs don’t always get decisions right': David Cameron defends Rishi Sunak’s handling of D-Day commemorations

Exclusive
Nigel Farage said he would not surrender to the 'mob'

'I'm not going to surrender to the mob': Farage blames ‘angry left’ and social media after milkshake attacks

Live
Britain's Labour Party leader Keir Starmer.

General Election LIVE: Labour manifesto to put "wealth creation" at its heart with focus on economic growth

A patient being treated for prostate cancer on the NHS

Over 380,000 cancer patients have faced delays since 2015, as NHS last met treatment time target over 8 years ago