A HERO shopper tackled an ISIS-inspired knifeman with a pole as he stabbed six people in a New Zealand supermarket.
Other quick-thinking customers used nappies to try to save his dying victims as police shot dead the “known threat” in the Auckland store.
Emergency services rushed to help the wounded at the New Lynn mall on Friday[/caption]
Amit Nand, who confronted the “violent” maniac, described how he told him to drop his weapon as terrified onlookers fled for their lives.
He told The Project: “A lot of people were running my way saying ‘run, just run out of the building’.
“Then I saw a lady lying on the floor there bleeding and she was like ‘help, help’.
“I said to myself ‘I’ve got to do something’ you know, and then I saw the guy with the knife.
“He had a big knife on him and he was just saying ‘Allahu, Allahu’ and he had already stabbed two other people.”
Amit said a fellow shopper handed him a pole he was carrying at the Countdown shop in New Lynn before he told the “extremist” to put down his knife.
“I had another guy come in front of me and he was a cop and was like ‘I’m an undercover cop, step back step back, I’m going to shoot him’,” he continued.
“I stepped a metre back and then all I heard was like five shots and he was on the floor. Looking at him, I knew he wanted to kill people.”
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Six people were injured in the attack on Friday at 2.40pm local time – with three in critical condition after suffering neck and chest wounds.
Two others are in “moderate” conditions and one person’s condition has been deemed “serious”.
Amit told Newshub how he grabbed tea towels and packs of nappies to held stop the knifeman’s victims bleeding out.
“[One woman’s] head was pushed on the food so I had to put something on it because she didn’t want to get up,” he said.
“She was stabbed in her head and her stomach.”
Another witness described the terrorist’s weapon as “the size of his arm”, adding: “It was very scary. It was like a mini sword.”
The knifeman who went on the “out of control” stabbing rampage was on New Zealand’s terror watchlist, authorities confirmed.
Police said they shot the 32-year-old man dead within a minute of him injuring several people in the supermarket.
The terrorist, known only as ‘S’ for legal reasons, was considered one of the nation’s most dangerous extremists – and was previously under “constant” surveillance.
Videos posted on social media show terrified shoppers in the LynnMall Shopping Centre shortly after the attacker struck.
One witness said “people were panicking” as officers swarmed the area.
Another shopper, Michelle Miller, who was in the mall when the chaos unfolded, said the attacker was “running around like a lunatic” and described hearing screams.
In one video, a woman can be heard saying: “There’s someone here with a knife, he’s got a knife.”
What we know so far…
- The ‘lone wolf’ attacker stabbed multiple people in the supermarket in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn
- It’s believed he obtained the knife from within the supermarket
- Six people have been injured in the rampage, including three in a critical condition
- The 32-year-old knifeman, known as ‘S’ for legal reasons, was shot dead by police 60 seconds after the attack started
- New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed it was an ‘extremist terror attack’
- She said the knifeman was ‘gripped by violent and ISIS-inspired ideology’
- The attacker was on the country’s terror watchlist and was once under constant surveillance
At least 10 police units could be seen in the surrounding streets as shoppers ran to safety.
Speaking this morning, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “What happened today was despicable, it was hateful, it was wrong.
“A violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders.
“He was gripped by violent and ISIS-inspired ideology that is not supported here.
“It was carried out by an individual, not a faith.”
She described the “lone wolf” attacker as a Sri Lankan national who arrived in New Zealand in 2011.
Ardern added that the man was a “supporter of ISIS” and had previously been under constant surveillance by police before the attack.
He had been known to the authorities since 2016, the PM confirmed.
She said: “This was someone who was known to our national security agencies and was of concern and was being monitored constantly.
“There are very few that fall into this category.”
Ms Arden reiterated that if the offender had committed a crime in the past that would have allowed authorities to put him in prison, “that’s where he would have been”.
She said: “The reason he was in the community is because, within the law, we could not put him anywhere else.
“His past behaviour was, within the threshold of the law, not enough to put him in prison.”
The knifeman was shot dead within 60 seconds of the terrifying attack starting – and two officers were involved in the shooting.
It is understood the man obtained a knife from within the store, New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster confirmed.
Police were following the man after he left home and walked into the New Lynn Countdown before he carried out the terror attack.
Looking at him I knew he wanted to kill people.
He previously landed himself on terror watchlists after buying hunting knives twice and being found to possess Islamic State propaganda videos, NZHerald reported.
And ‘S’ had previously been arrested for allegedly planning another knife attack, according to reports.
The Crown had tried to prosecute him under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 – but a High Court judge ruled that preparing a terrorist attack was not in itself an offence under the legislation.
He had only recently been released from prison – and was under constant surveillance from police, including national security agencies and an armed tactical team.
In a statement, officers said: “Police can confirm that a man has entered a New Lynn supermarket and injured multiple people.
“Police have located the man and he has been shot. He has died at the scene.”
The shopping mall said in a statement: “The matter is now in the hands of the police and we’ll continue to provide them with our full assistance.
“LynnMall is now closed and we will update once we know more.”
Kiri Hannifin, Countdown supermarket’s general manager of safety, released a statement on Friday afternoon stating her “heart was heavy knowing what our team and customers have witnessed”.
She said: “We are particularly devastated that something like this has happened again in one of our stores.
“It’s difficult to comprehend and the events of today leave our whole team in deep shock.
“The safety of our team, and our customers, is always our priority, and this is at the heart of our Covid-19 response as well.
“We will cooperate with the police in any way we can to understand what’s happened, and at this point we’re unable to provide any further details.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking to the media at a press conference[/caption]
Armed police patrol the area around Countdown LynnMall after the mass stabbing[/caption]
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