At least six injured after stabbing in New Zealand supermarket

Sunday, September 5, 2021

LynnMall in March 2020.
Image: User:Megan Harvey.

At least six people have been injured, including three now in a critical condition, after a stabbing occurred on Friday in Auckland, New Zealand, which Jacinda Ardern, the nation's Prime Minister, deemed a "terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders" committed by "a violent extremist".

The stabbing occurred in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn, at the Countdown supermarket located in the LynnMall shopping centre. Police shot and killed the man who committed the stabbing within 60 seconds of the attack's commencement. Out of the six that have been reported as injured, three are in a critical condition, one is in a serious condition, and two are in a moderate condition.

The assailant, a Sri Lankan national, has resided in New Zealand since October 2011, and had been a person of interest to national security agencies since 2016. Prime Minister Ardern claimed the man was inspired by Islamic State, but added "it would be wrong to direct any frustration to anyone beyond this individual. That is who is culpable, that is who is responsible - no one else".

Ardern also stated she had been informed about the man before the events of Friday, though the reason he is known to authorities is confidential and covered by court orders. She confirmed the individual was subject to permanent police observation, saying "we have utilized every legal and surveillance power available to us to try and keep people safe from this individual."

As a result of the events, Countdown stores in New Zealand opened from 10AM yesterday, a later time than usual, with the company's general manager of safety writing "we are devastated by this violent attack in our Lynnmall store [on Friday]. Our hearts are heavy knowing what our team and customers have witnessed and been through. Our thoughts are with those who were injured and their families, and we will be supporting all of our Lynnmall team in particular".