Four wounded in stabbing rampage in Auckland, bystanders bring attacker to the ground

A man has wounded four people in a stabbing attack before being stopped by bystanders, who brought him to the ground in an Auckland neighbourhood, New Zealand police said. 

Police District Commander Naila Hassan said the attack in Auckland on Thursday was random and the suspect was in custody.

She said there was no indication the attack was a hate crime, as the victims were of different genders, ethnicities and ages.

“This was an extremely fast-moving incident, where our police staff responded quickly, apprehended the offender and prevented further harm to our communities,” Commander Hassan said. 

She said the victims all suffered moderate injuries.

People in the neighbourhood began following and surrounding the man after he began his attack and one brought him down using a walking crutch, Commander Hassan said.

She said the man had been carrying a large knife and suffered moderate injuries when he was apprehended, and had been hospitalised as a result.

She said the attack, which began in the suburb of Murrays Bay, lasted less than 10 minutes.

Police officer walks behind tape in Auckland
Police say the attack lasted less than 10 minutes.(AP: Michael Craig/New Zealand Herald)

New Zealand was the site of two violent stabbing attacks at supermarkets last year. One was considered a terror attack while a judge found no motive for the other attack.

Last September, a Muslim extremist inspired by the Islamic State group stabbed five people in an Auckland supermarket before police shot and killed him. Three of those he stabbed were critically injured and two other people were also injured in the melee, but all survived.

And in May last year, shoppers and staff at a Dunedin supermarket managed to stop a frenzied man from hurting others after he stabbed four people in a random attack, severely wounding three of them.

The Dunedin attacker, 43-year-old Luke Lambert, was convicted on four counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

AP

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