New Zealand police shot and killed a terrorist inspired by ISIS after he stabbed and wounded six people in a grocery store Friday.
The man entered a supermarket in the city of Auckland on Friday afternoon and took a knife off the shelves, said Andrew Coster, Commissioner of Police for New Zealand. He began attacking shoppers, stabbing six people before police were able to respond.
“The police staff challenged the man and diverted his attention,” Coster said. “He charged at them with the knife and the officers shot him. He died at the scene shortly afterwards.”
Witnesses said the man shouted “Allahu akbar” before he began his stabbing spree, according to the Associated Press. Three of the victims in serious condition were transported to Auckland City Hospital, according to Coster.
The man had been under constant police surveillance at the time of the attack due to “concerns about his violent, extremist views,” Coster said. Police were able to shoot and kill the man within a minute of the attack beginning, according to Coster.
“Our police staff acted quickly and with great courage to stop this man and prevent any further harm to members of the public,” Coster said. “I want to acknowledge this quick response and the bravery of the Police staff who responded.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern identified the man in a press conference as a Sri Lankan national who moved to New Zealand in 2011. He had been surveilled by police since 2016 as an “ISIS-inspired known threat.”
“This was a violent attack, it was senseless, and I am so sorry it happened,” Ardern said.
“It was carried out by an individual. Not a faith, not a culture, not an ethnicity,” she said. “But an individual person who is gripped by ideology that is not supported here by anyone or any community.”
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