NZ terror victims improve in hospital

·2-min read

The victims of the Auckland supermarket terrorist attack continue to recover in hospital.

On Monday, New Zealand police confirmed four remain in Auckland City Hospital in a stable condition, while three are recuperating at home.

"Three remain in ICU, however one of them is expected to be moved to a ward today," Assistant Commissioner Lauano Sue Schwalger said.

This is really positive news and we are continuing to work closely with the victims and their families to ensure they are well supported at this extremely difficult time."

Police have finished their examination of the attack scene at the Countdown supermarket and the surrounding shopping mall in New Lynn, a southwest suburb of Auckland.

Countdown has not yet decided when it will reopen the store, with a spokeswoman saying the company was "totally focused on our team at the moment".

The terrorist, Aathill Samsudeen, was a known threat to NZ security agencies and was the subject of 24-7 police surveillance.

Samsudeen chose to attack while on a routine-appearing supermarket trip, while the security detail was outside so as not to arouse suspicion.

In the window between his attack beginning and police intervening to shoot and kill Samsudeen, shoppers attempted to stop the rampage or bargain with the terrorist.

Radio NZ reports paramedic Ross Tomlinson was one of a handful of people who tried to stop Samsudeen.

"There was a lady laying on the ground with quite significant stab wounds and as I went to approach her, the terrorist was in one of the aisles, pretty close to her still just pacing around that general area," he told Morning Report.

Mr Tomlinson said others in the aisle attempted to bargain with Samsudeen, telling him to drop his weapon - a knife he picked up while doing his shopping.

"So, it's really impressive to see normal Kiwis step up to people that have crazy ideology ... Kiwis stand up for what's right," he said.

As Mr Tomlinson checked on the health of an elderly woman who had been stabbed, he said the terrorist advanced on him.

"At that point two plain-clothes armed police officers ran to me and passed me," he said.

"They stood just in front of me and yelled to the people behind the terrorists to move back.

"(They) instructed the terrorist to drop the knife, at which point he ran at them and was a couple of feet away from them with the knife before they shot him.

"They saved my life. I think I'd angered him with some of the things I had said to him and he was approaching me ... so that I can't commend them enough."

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