Witnesses give harrowing accounts of the Murrays Bay, Auckland stabbing attack

Four people are in hospital with stab wounds after what police describe as a random incident on Auckland's North Shore.

Police say a man stabbed four people between Murrays Bay and Mairangi Bay before members of the public managed to apprehend him using a crutch.

The alleged attacker is now also being treated in hospital under police guard and facing charges.

The whole thing was over in less than ten minutes.

It started as residents of the two beachfront Auckland suburbs of Murrays Bay and Mairangi Bay enjoyed a sunny crisp morning. But it ended with what police described as an extremely traumatic event.

"What I can tell you is that this offender is a local person," Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan said.

"He has been out in public and he has randomly stabbed four members of the public. Those members have suffered moderate injuries and we are wrapping necessary services around them to support them."

Witness Danelle Clayton was out walking on the beach when the attack unfolded.

"There was just a whole lot of police and ambulances and sirens going off. We saw a lady being tended to by ambulance staff in a bus stop and another lady being attended to on a park bench," Clayton said.

It began with a man stabbing the occupant of a house on Westbourne Road and then attacking members of the public.

The stabber then made his way along the beach towards Mairangi Bay, still carrying a large knife and apparently still intent on doing harm.

"We walked from Murrays Bay to Mairangi Bay around the causeway and it must've been quite soon after the incident and there was some pools of blood along the way that you had to sort of step around, which wasn’t very nice," Clayton said.

Police said members of the public followed him and held him there until police arrived.

In fact, they used a crutch to bring him down in the car park.

"I want to reassure the community that this was an isolated incident. The offender has been apprehended and he is in custody," Supt Hassan said. "I also want to acknowledge there were members of the public who acted with extreme bravery this morning.

"They apprehended this offender and brought this incident to its conclusion."

There were other heroes too. One man rushed around the beach telling people to run.

Dianne Hilbron was out with a bunch of other mums and kids enjoying the morning in Mairangi Bay. 

"Another man came and he had a big stick and he was quite panicked and said, 'Just grab your kids and run as fast as you can down the beach'," Hilbron said. "We just grabbed our kids and left everything behind and ran for it.

"It was really scary. The kids were really upset and they were crying and screaming. It was pretty scary."

Valeriya Mosheva locked herself in her car.

"I was having a cup of tea in my car. There was a person with a dog with a big piece of timber running around warning people to clear off," she said. "The girl jumped to the car next to showing me, 'Lock the car, lock the car'."

"He was supposedly pinned down by a construction worker over there by the water work thing and a guy with a crutch and held him down until the police came and then he was taken away in an ambulance I think," witness Damien Ellish said.

Police said it would have been worse if those members of the public hadn't intervened

"This was a random attack. There is no indication that this what a hate crime of any type. The victims were of different gender, ethnicity and age," Supt Hassan said.

Ten minutes of carnage in two of Auckland's usual tranquil suburbs.