Four people are injured, three critically, after a stabbing incident at a Dunedin supermarket.
What you need to know:
- Emergency services were called to the Countdown supermarket on Cumberland St about 2.30pm
- Four people were injured - three critically and one seriously, St John said. All were taken to Dunedin Hospital and remain there on Monday night
- Countdown confirmed two of the injured were supermarket employees
- The Prime Minister said there was nothing to suggest the incident was a domestic terror attack
- Police said one person has been arrested and is likely to appear in court on Tuesday. It was believed to be a random attack.
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7:15pm - Jenny McDowell, who witnessed the earlier attack, told The Project she was doing her supermarket shopping when she heard screaming and swearing.
"I looked up and there was a man stabbing a woman - she had blood around her head.
"Members of the public came to just restrain him - they were doing everything they could, they were throwing stuff at him."
"He then attacked two of the members of the public - [then] there were probably about three or four people who managed to restrain him. They were heroes, they really were.
"Those members of the public who were restraining him were really calm and kept their composure the whole time."
McDowell describes assisting one of the victims with first aid.
"I emptied out my bag that I had with me to try and use that because I couldn't think of anything else to use.
"While I was doing that, one of the Countdown staff removed his jersey and was applying pressure to the wound - so I just tried to help apply pressure and reassure the man that help was on its way.
"The man just kept asking if his wife was OK."
7pm - Four people remain in hospital after the earlier stabbing at the Dunedin Countdown.
It's been revealed members of the public detained the alleged offender before police arrived at the scene.
The supermarket remains locked down on Monday night while a scene examination is carried out by police.
Southern District Commander Supt Paul Basham says it was a fast-moving and traumatic incident.
The alleged offender will appear in the Dunedin District Court on Tuesday, Basham says.
6:42pm - In an earlier statement, Countdown said it was shocked and devastated by Monday's events.
The supermarket chain said it has been concerned about escalating violence towards staff members.
6:40pm - Dunedin City Mayor Aaron Hawkins says the incident is hard to comprehend.
"Nobody should feel like they should be hurt in their place of work or doing everyday errands," he told reporters. "The most chilling thing about this is it could have been any of us."
6:30pm - Earlier, police praised the bravery of people who intervened during the stabbing rampage.
Southern District Commander Supt Paul Basham believes the attack was random.
"Those that intervened, some of whom became injured themselves, I think have acted selflessly and with great courage to prevent this man from hurting anybody else," he told a news briefing.
The alleged offender is under police guard in Dunedin Hospital.
6:20pm - Dunedin MP David Clark says he's thinking of all the vicitims of the attack.
"Messages I've received indicate that people around the country are focussing their thoughts and prayers on Dunedin this evening.
"Thank you to our local frontline police and first responders, as well as those individuals who sacrificed their own safety to help detain the offender."
6:15pm - A police investigation is continuing into the motivation of the attack.
"I am advised 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," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.
6:10pm - Earlier, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged the heroic efforts of shoppers and staff.
"Such an attack is hugely concerning and I do want to acknowledge really early reports of courageous acts by bystanders who have taken action in order to protect those around them," she told a news briefing.
6pm - It's time for Newshub Live at 6pm - where we'll bring you the latest details on this incident. Watch the bulletin here.
5:55pm - At the press conference, Souther District Commander Supt Paul Basham was asked what charges the alleged offender could face.
"It's a serious stabbing, so at a minimum it's wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm," Basham told reporters.
"God forbid that the status of those victims deteriorates overnight, and then we would be looking at something else - but let's hope that's not the case."
5:50pm - Southern District Commander Supt Paul Basham earlier said the three critically injured victims were due to go into surgery on Monday evening.
"On the face of what we know we believe this is a random attack," he told reporters.
"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."
5:40pm - At the earlier press conference, Southern District Commander Supt Paul Basham said the stabbing rampage was believed to be a random attack.
Basham told reporters the alleged offender was detained by members of the public and is now under a police guard in Dunedin Hospital.
The alleged offender has yet to be charged, Basham said.
An extensive investigation is underway at the Countdown supermarket where the incident took place and remains locked down.
5:30pm - Dunedin City Mayor Aaron Hawkins says he's "shocked and deeply concerned" at the incident.
"My thoughts are with the victims and their families, as well as the staff and customers who were witness to it.
"Everyone should feel safe in their place of work, or doing everyday errands like grocery shopping."
5:20pm - The alleged offender is also in Dunedin Hospital receiving treatment for injuries, Supt Basham confirmed.
5:18pm - Those who intervened in the incident were selfless and had great courage, Basham says.
He says it was "nothing short of heroic".
5:17pm - Supt Basham says the alleged attacker will likely appear in court on Tuesday.
5:16pm - Basham says the scene of the Countdown supermarket remains locked down.
5:15pm - Supt Paul Basham is speaking to the media now. He says the attack is believed to be a random one but the investigation is still in its early stages.
5:13pm - Ahead of the news conference, Southern District Commander Supt Paul Basham has released a statement:
"Just before 2.30pm today emergency services received the first calls reporting a number of people had received stab wounds inside the Countdown Supermarket on Cumberland Street.
"Police staff were on site at the supermarket within minutes.
"Upon arrival, police located four people with serious stab-related injuries.
"We also located a man, who had been detained by members of the public, that we believe is allegedly responsible for this incident.
"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.
"While we are satisfied we have the person responsible in our custody, we are in the very early stages of our investigation into the circumstances.
"This includes understanding the motivation for this attack which will be a key component of the investigation. However, on the face of what we currently know, we believe this was a random attack.
"The scene is currently locked down and will be the subject of an extensive scene examination
"We are also in the process of compiling witness information and collecting CCTV footage.
"The alleged offender is currently receiving medical attention in Dunedin Hospital. He is under police guard and is yet to be formally spoken to or charged.
"We would encourage anyone who has information, including video footage of the incident, to get in touch with Police via 105 and quote event number P046456846."
5:10pm - We are standing by as Southern District Commander Supt Paul Basham is due to address the media - watch the press conference live in the video above.
5pm - A police news conference is due to get underway at 5:15pm where an update will be provided. You can watch that live in the video above.
4:55pm - The Otago Daily Times reported one victim was earlier put into an ambulance with what was believed to be a neck wound.
4:45pm - One woman told the Otago Daily Times she heard a scream before the incident unfolded.
"I saw one red hand among the people; a bloody hand, and everybody started running towards the exits."
4:35pm - A reminder that police will be holding a news conference at 5:15pm to provide the latest on the incident. You will be able to watch that live in the video above.
4:25pm - WorkSafe has confirmed to Newshub it's been notified of the incident but did not comment further.
4:20pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says advice from the police commissioner is they are still working on the motivation of the stabbing. Their initial assessment is it’s not terror related, but she wants to give police the time to assess it.
She says there are some early indications of what may have contributed to the incident, but says she's waiting for police to give an update later.
Ardern says she's been advised there is no one else involved.
"The advice that I've had from the commissioner of police is that they are still working through the motivation, but their early assessment, because we need to establish very early on if it's considered to be a terror-related event, there are other elements of our system that we stand up very quickly, their initial assessment is that it's not.
"But I do want to give them the time to make further assessments as to what has happened."
4:13pm - Speaking at a post-Cabinet meeting press conference on Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there is nothing to suggest the incident was a domestic terror attack.
She said the attack was "hugely concerning" and acknowledged the heroic actions of bystanders.
"Such an attack is hugely concerning and I do want to acknowledge the early reports of courageous acts by bystanders who have taken action in order to protect those around them," Ardern told reporters.
"Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by this attack."
Witnesses told the NZ Herald the courageous acts of bystanders, mentioned by Ardern, consisted of members of the public tackling and pinning down the alleged stabber.
4:10pm - According to the Otago Daily Times, a witness, who was an aisle over from the stabbing, heard loud pitched screaming and mistook it for a group of teenagers.
"I heard screaming and I thought it was just teenagers, but then I heard someone yell 'he's got a knife.'"
Another witness has told RNZ they believed the alleged offender to be high on drugs.
4:02pm - It's been confirmed Southern District police commander Supt Paul Basham will be holding a media conference at 5:15pm outside the Dunedin central police station to provide the latest on the incident.
4pm - To wrap up the latest information:
A stabbing rampage at a Dunedin supermarket has left four people badly injured.
Three are in a critical condition and one serious after the attack at the central city Countdown.
A Newshub camera operator says he arrived to a dramatic scene.
"There was three ambulances and as I arrived there were two people on stretchers being wheeled out of the Countdown.
"Now the entrance to the Countdown is blocked off."
3:52pm - A witness has told the NZ Herald she was paying at the checkout when she heard someone yell there was somebody in the store with a knife.
She says people then began screaming and running for the exits.
3:44pm - Countdown has just released the following statement:
"We are shocked and devastated by the events in our Dunedin Central Store this afternoon," Countdown managing director Spencer Spoon says.
"Our priority right now is our injured team members and caring for our wider team in the wake of this extremely traumatic event. We are deeply upset that customers who tried to help our team members were also injured.
"We have been concerned about the escalating violence towards our team, and this is something we have continued to talk and raise as an issue over the last year.
"Our amazing team comes to work to serve Kiwis every day, and our customers visit our stores knowing that they will be safe. We are heartbroken that this wasn’t the case today. Our Dunedin Central store will remain closed today and tomorrow while we support our team, and we are co-operating fully with the police."
3:41pm - A witness told RNZ the man used two knife to stab people before witnesses disarmed him. Countdown has confirmed to Newshub customers who tried to help Countdown staff during the incident were also injured.
3:35pm - After initially saying five people were injured, St John has confirmed four have been taken to hospital - three with critical injuries while the fourth is in a serious condition.
3:24pm - Confirming what we know so far:
Five people, including two Countdown workers, have been rushed to hospital following a major stabbing incident at the supermarket in central Dunedin.
Three are in a critical condition, and two are moderate. Police said one person has been taken into custody.
Multiple police cars and ambulances hurtled into the carpark and the supermarket was evacuated.
Countdown says the store will remain closed and staff are being provided with support.
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3:22pm - Countdown spokeswoman Kiri Hannifin, confirming two employees were injured in the incident, told Newshub the store has been closed and are providing staff with support.
3:21pm - Another witness, who was at the checkout at the time of the incident, said she heard someone say they saw a person who "had a knife", according to the Otago Daily Times.
3:19pm - Witnesses told the Otago Daily Times they have seen people covered in blood while others were running to help those injured.
Other witnesses said on social media the supermarket was evacuated and saw a man, who was bleeding, removed from the store in handcuffs.
3:18pm - Countdown has confirmed to Newshub two of those injured in the attack were supermarket employees.
3:15pm - The Otago Daily Times reported one man seen with blood on him was apprehended just after 2:30pm. Police have confirmed one person has been arrested.
3:13pm - Countdown has confirmed to RNZ five people, two of whom were employees, were stabbed at the supermarket.