New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the suspect as a Sri Lankan national who arrived in the country in 2011.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that at least six people were injured in a lone wolf stabbing incident in a supermarket in the New Zealand capital, and the police shot him to death.
“What happened today is despicable, hateful and wrong,” she said on Friday, describing the attacker as a Sri Lankan national who arrived in New Zealand in 2011.
She said that “multiple agencies” of the government knew that the man was killed within 60 seconds of the attack, adding that he was inspired by ISIL armed groups.
“This is hateful, this is wrong. It is carried out by individuals, not by faith,” Ardern said. “He is solely responsible for these actions.”
Ardern said she could not speak publicly about the man who has been under surveillance since 2016 because he was the subject of a court injunction.
Police Chief Andrew Coster said that the authorities believed the man was acting alone and would not pose further danger to the community.
A video posted on social media showed that soon after the attackers attacked, there were shoppers in the New Lynn supermarket.
“There is someone here with a knife…he has a knife,” a woman said. “Someone was stabbed.”
Shortly before about six gunshots, a guard asked people to leave the mall.
The two are in critical condition
The St. John’s Ambulance Service said in a statement to Reuters that among the injured, three were in critical condition, one was in serious condition and the other was in moderate condition.
Witnesses told reporters outside the mall that they saw several people stabbed and fallen to the ground. Others said they heard gunshots when they ran out of the supermarket.
An earlier video posted online showed panic shoppers running out of the mall and looking for cover.
Since a white supremacist gunman killed 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019, New Zealand has remained vigilant about attacks.
In May of this year, four people were stabbed in a supermarket in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand.