Sydney, Australia, May 10 (EFE).- Four people were injured, three of them critically, in a supermarket knife attack on Monday afternoon in New Zealand’s South Island city of Dunedin.
Although investigations are in the early stages, authorities believe that it was a random attack and not a terrorist incident.
Just before 2.30 pm, emergency services were called to Countdown Supermarket in central Dunedin and upon arrival, “police located four people with serious stab-related injuries,” Southern District Commander Superintendent Paul Basham said in a statement.
“We also located a man, who had been detained by members of the public, that we believe is allegedly responsible for this incident,” Basham said.
The suspect was taken to Dunedin Hospital for medical treatment under police custody, and is yet to be spoken to or charged.
“On the face of what we currently know, we believe this was a random attack,” Basham added.
Southern District Health Board said in a statement that “four patients are being admitted to hospital in a serious condition, three to the ICU and one to general ward. One patient is being treated in the emergency department,” national broadcaster Radio New Zealand reported.
Addressing the event in a post-Cabinet meeting press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters that “at this stage there is nothing to suggest – from the police’s perspective — that this is what they would define as a domestic terror event” but added that “such an attack is hugely concerning.”
“I do want to acknowledge the really early reports of courageous acts by bystanders who have taken action to protect those around them,” she said.
In his statement, Basham added that “this was a fast-moving and extremely traumatic event for every person in that supermarket – the victims who were injured, those present who tried to intervene and those who had to flee to a place of safety.”
Usually quiet New Zealand was the scene of a far-right terror attack on two mosques in the city of Christchurch in March 2019, which left 51 dead and 40 others injured.
Australian Brenton Tarrant was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, on 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism. EFE