New Zealand police shot dead a man who wounded six people in an attack at an Auckland supermarket on Friday as terrified crowds fled for the exits.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the rampage as a ‘terrorist’ attack.
A man, inspired by ISIS ideology, who entered a New Zealand supermarket and stabbed at least six people was a “violent extremist” known to the police, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.
Police said the attack occurred when the man entered the Countdown supermarket in the city’s New Lynn suburb as people were doing afternoon shopping.
“Police have located the man and he has been shot. He has died at the scene,” they said.
The man, who was known to authorities and had been residing in the country since October 2011, was a Sri Lankan national.
“A violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern told a briefing on Friday.
He had been known to multiple agencies since 2016, with Ms Ardern confirming she had been personally aware of the individual prior to the attack, adding that she was personally gutted to hear what had happened.
The St John Ambulance Service said six people were taken to hospital, three in critical condition.
Details of the attack were scarce, with some witnesses saying the man was wielding a knife and others describing hearing gunshots.
Auckland is currently in Covid-19 lockdown as it battles to contain an outbreak of the highly transmissible Delta variant.
There was a similar supermarket attack in Dunedin in May when a knife-wielding attacker wounded four people.
New Zealand’s worst terror attack was the Christchurch mosques shootings in March 2019, when a white supremacist gunman murdered 51 Muslim worshippers and severely wounded another 40.