- BBC News World
New Zealand police shot and killed a “violent extremist” after he stabbed and injured at least six people in a supermarket in Auckland city on Friday.
The prime minister Jacinda Ardern he described the event as a “terrorist attack” perpetrated by a Sri Lankan citizen who was under police surveillance.
The man, whose identity cannot be revealed, was inspired by the terrorist group Islamic StateArdern said.
Police killed the man within 60 seconds of initiating the attack.
“What happened today was despicable, it was hateful, it was wrong”the prime minister said at a press conference on Friday.
“It was carried out by an individual, not by faith,” he added.
How did the attack unfold?
The attack took place at the Countdown supermarket in LynnMall, located in Auckland’s New Lynn district, on Friday afternoon (local time).
The attacker reportedly took a large knife from a display case of one of the stores and lunged to stab. Surveillance teams had been close to him the entire time, as he was considered a threat to national security.
A witness told the media outlet “Stuff NZ” that the supermarket became a hysteria scene at that moment.
Videos on social media show frightened shoppers running out of the supermarket before they heard the shots.
“(People) ran out hysterically, just screaming, scared,” said the witness, adding that he saw an old man lying on the ground with a stab wound.
That if you know of the attacker?
The man arrived in New Zealand in October 2011 and became a “person of interest in relation to national security” in 2016said the prime minister.
Since then, he had been under constant surveillance due to concerns about his ideology.
He was known to various intelligence agencies and was also on a terrorism watch list.
Arden said until Friday I had not committed any crime that could lead to arrest or detention.
When asked about the man’s motivations, he said they were “inspired by ISIS (Islamic State).”
Questions have been raised as to why no action was taken against him before six people were injured, especially since he was under close surveillance.
“The reality is that when you are monitoring someone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it is not possible to be immediately by his side at all times “the policeman said about it Andrew Coster.
“The staff intervened as quickly as they could and prevented further injuries in what was a terrible situation,” he added.
The police officer also stated that the attacker was very aware of the surveillance that was towards him and that the teams had to keep their distance to be effective.
Is there a greater danger?
Authorities trust the attacker he acted alone and that there is no more danger to the community, according to Coster.
The supermarket, meanwhile, has been closed since the attack and until further notice.
In 2019, New Zealand saw its worst terror attack when a white supremacist gunman murdered 51 Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.