New Zealand police have shot dead a man after he stabbed nearly six people in an Auckland supermarket. “Police have located the man and he has been shot. He has died at the scene,” the police reported.
Locals described a scene of hysteria in the Countdown supermarket in the capital city’s New Lynn suburb.
While the authorities had earlier described this incident as a random attack and not terror-related, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has termed this as a ‘terrorist attack’.
“What happened today was despicable, it was hateful, it was wrong,” she said.
Ardern reported that the incident began around 2:40 pm and the officers were able to shoot and kill the stabber within “roughly 60 seconds of the attack “.
The attacker is being described as an ISIS-inspired terrorist who arrived in New Zealand in 2011 and had roots from Sri Lanka. “The attack at New Lynn Countdown was a terrorist attack carried out by a violent extremist,” Ardern said. “He was supporter of IS-ideology. He was known to multiple agencies. I was personally aware of him.”
She also revealed that the attacker was being observed since 2016 but the authorities could not put him in prison due to legal obligations. As per the PM, his past activities had not reached to the level that he could be out behind the bars, but the officials were using every possible tool available to keep the country safe from him.
This incident took place in the afternoon with only few people present in the mall, due to the ongoing Covid lockdown in the city.