Auckland terror attack: Timeline of the events leading to New Lynn stabbings

A lone man yelling "Allahu Akbar" ran through a west Auckland supermarket on Friday afternoon, stabbing people before he was shot dead.

Here's what we know of what unfolded.

Before the attack

2011 - The terrorist, a Sri Lankan national, arrives in New Zealand.

2016 - He becomes a person of national security interest. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the man had a violent ideology inspired by the terrorist group Islamic State.

2021 - The terrorist allegedly planned a "lone wolf" knife attack in Auckland earlier this year, the NZ Herald reported. He couldn't be charged as a terrorist because preparing a terrorist attack is not in itself deemed an offence under New Zealand's counter-terrorism legislation.

Auckland terror attack: Timeline of the events leading to New Lynn stabbings
Photo credit: Supplied

Friday, September 3, 2021 - the day of the attack

Before 2:30pm - The terrorist travels from his home in the west Auckland suburb of Glen Eden to nearby Countdown at LynnMall, a 10-minute drive away in New Lynn. He was being closely followed by surveillance teams

2:40pm - He entered the Countdown store and grabbed a knife, Ardern said. At the same time, surveillance teams remained close by as the terrorist began stabbing people.

Within minutes, the terrorist tries to approach the officers with the knife and he is shot dead.

2:46pm - The first news reports start rolling in about an "incident" at LynnMall.

3:18pm - Police confirm they are responding to a "serious" incident in New Lynn. 

"This incident is still unfolding at this time. However, police can confirm that a man has entered a New Lynn supermarket and injured multiple people," a statement said.

"Police have located the man and he has been shot. He has died at the scene."

3:20pm - A witness sheltering at a nearby pharmacy tells Newshub it was a "scary" situation and there were people hiding in the store.

"At first, I thought someone's phone had just been stolen and it was a bit of an overreaction, but now I take it someone has been attacked," added another witness.

Multiple police officers and ambulances are seen outside LynnMall.

3:50pm - Footage emerges on social media where gunshots can be heard as people scramble out of the supermarket.

4:30pm - St John confirm six people were injured in the attack; three critically, one seriously and two moderately.

4:35pm - Ardern and police commissioner Andrew Coster call a press conference.

5:28pm - Coster and the Prime Minister front the media. Coster tells reporters his staff intervened quickly and acted with courage, preventing further injury in what was a "terrifying situation".

5:33pm - Ardern tells reporters the attack was "despicable, hateful and wrong".

"It was carried out by an individual, not faith, not a culture, not an ethnicity - but an individual person who was gripped by [an] ideology that is not supported here by anyone or any community," she said.

"He alone carries the responsibility for these acts. Let that be where the judgement falls."

Ardern and Coster insisted everything possible had been done to try and keep the extremist behind bars.

"We have utilised every legal and surveillance power available to us to try and keep people safe from this individual," Ardern said, adding she was "absolutely gutted".

Ardern said there would be no change to New Zealand's terror alert level.