'Stabbed in the head': Horror stories emerge from supermarket terror attack

·3-min read

Eyewitnesses to the Auckland stabbing attack have described chaotic scenes as their local supermarket was transformed into an unlikely site of terrorism.

On Friday a man known to New Zealand's security agencies stabbed at least six people in a frenzied attack before he was shot and killed by police.

A 34-year-old man who was in the milk aisle said the first indication something was awry was shouting.

Screenshots from inside a Countdown store in New Zealand where a terror attack occurred.
Chaotic scenes from inside the store show customers tending to victims who had been stabbed. Source: Twitter

"Suddenly I heard a person shouting loudly 'Allahu Akbar' and running," he told the NZ Herald.

"There was this lady in front of me and he jumped on her.

"He had a knife, a pretty big knife. Like I would say the size of his arm. It was very scary. It was like a mini sword."

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said the man was trailed by surveillance, and acquired his knife in the supermarket.

Mr Coster said the trailing agents killed the attacker roughly 60 seconds after the attack began.

New Zealand authorities said Friday they shot and killed a violent extremist after he entered a supermarket and stabbed and injured several shoppers. Source: AP
New Zealand authorities said Friday they shot and killed a violent extremist after he entered a supermarket and stabbed and injured several shoppers. Source: AP

Michelle Miller, from nearby Avondale, told Radio NZ she saw a man "running around with a knife, then he just lost the plot".

"It's horrific," she said.

"The police have done an amazing job. They had the guy try to give himself up but he wouldn't. It's really sad that they had to do what they had to do."

Amit Nand told Newshub he grabbed tea towels and packs of nappies to try and stem the bleeding of victims.

"(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 ... she was stabbed in her head and her stomach," he said.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described Friday's incident as a terror attack. Source: AP
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described Friday's incident as a terror attack. Source: AP

Jim Taoirangi told TVNZ he saw two of the victims; a woman who was able to walk out after a stab wound in her arm, and "an old gentleman, a European man lying on the ground".

"There was chaos," he said.

"I was going in to help ... before I was walking into Countdown, two undercover police came past.

"They ran down the end and within three to five seconds, gunshots, four, five shots."

Footage from outside the supermarket has been shared widely on social media, which does not show the attack, but in which a gunshot is clearly heard.

Police stand outside the site of a knife attack at the supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand. Source: AP
Police stand outside the site of a knife attack at the supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand. Source: AP

Customers take shelter in pharmacy

A nearby pharmacy, one of the only stores able to operate under Auckland's strict Covid-fighting lockdown, was used as a shelter for around 65 people.

Radio NZ reports Aanya Diveka, present for a Covid-19 vaccination, said the group eventually fled out a back exit after the attack.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saluted the bravery of victims, bystanders and responders.

"To everyone who was there, and who witnessed such a horrific event, I can't imagine how they'll be feeling in the aftermath," she said.

"But thank you for coming to the aid of those who needed you when they needed you."

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