New Zealand Police Shoot Dead Known Extremist Who Stabbed 6 People
(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a man who attacked people with a knife in an Auckland supermarket before being shot dead by police was a known extremist and terrorist.
The attack that began at 2:40 p.m. local time Friday and left six people injured, three seriously, “was undertaken by an individual who was a known threat to New Zealand,” Ardern told a news conference. The man, a Sri Lankan national, was “a violent extremist” who “undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders,” she said.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said the man entered the supermarket, obtained a knife within the store and began to stab people, sending shoppers fleeing. He was engaged by police and shot when he approached them with the knife. The attack occurred while Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, is in lockdown due to a community outbreak of Covid-19.
Ardern said the man was under constant police surveillance because of his extreme beliefs, and it was the special tactics group monitoring him that shot and killed him within 60 seconds of the attack starting. The man arrived in New Zealand in 2011 and became a person of national security interest from 2016, she said.
“What happened today was despicable, it was hateful, it was wrong,” Ardern said. “It was carried out by an individual, not a faith, not a culture, not an ethnicity, but an individual person who was gripped by ideology that is not supported here. He alone carries the responsibility for these acts, let that be where the judgment falls.”
In 2019, a lone gunman murdered 51 people in a terrorist attack at two Christchurch mosques, shocking the relatively peaceful South Pacific nation.
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