Auckland grandmother describes moment school student attacks young man with hammer at McDonald's New Lynn

People seated inside McDonald's New Lynn froze as they watched the attack.
People seated inside McDonald's New Lynn froze as they watched the attack. Photo credit: Newshub / Google.

An Auckland grandmother who was eating lunch with her grandchildren has described the moment she watched a student attack a young man with a hammer. 

The 74-year-old woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Newshub the attack happened while she was taking her two young granddaughters out for a meal at Mcdonald's New Lynn on Wednesday evening.

At about 4pm she watched the moment a student "violently struck" a young man in the head, causing blood to seep through his hoodie. 

"The place was full of secondary school kids, everyone was happy, eating food, [a] great atmosphere," she explained. 

"A schoolboy, around 18, strode in wearing a navy-blue uniform. He was with a little entourage of foot soldiers behind him, and walked over to a young man sitting directly across from me with no uniform on."  

"I initially thought he was a security guard as he was all in blue, but then he walked up to the guy and put a hammer on the table and no words were exchanged. 

"Then he lifted the hammer and thrashed him over the head," the woman said. "I really thought this could be a murder, that this guy could die". 

The woman told Newshub she was frightened during "prolonged eye contact" with the perpetrator. 

"When he first walked in, he met my gaze immediately and just stared at me while walking over to this man," she said. 

"After attacking him, he turned around and made eye contact with me again before just walking out the door. Everyone in the store was frozen, nobody was saying anything.

"This happened just four metres away from us, we were seated at a table and the boy was in the booth just opposite us". 

When asked why she didn't say anything during the attack she responded: "I think that when we are faced with a threat like that you tend to step back". 

It was a serious assault with a hammer, she explained. "He violently struck him".

"When the victim left, he had blood seeping through his hoodie. He was wearing a black bandana and then a cream hoodie over the top". 

She said the blood stain was "about the size of a tennis ball" and there was enough blood she thought he "could have fractured his skull".

The woman told Newshub the weirdest part was that no words were exchanged.

"I thought he might have said something, or swear, but neither of them spoke. It kind of made it more worrying," she said. "I don't think anyone in McDonalds saw it coming".

She admitted she was still shocked.

"It was a sunny Wednesday afternoon, right next to a public library. It's totally unnerving that this could happen in front of my eyes with my two grandkids," she said. 

Following the attack, the woman told Newshub she told the staff what happened, once the attacker left the restaurant.

"The staff were on to it right away and flew out both entrances, then the manager approached me," she said. "My granddaughters hadn't seen a thing, thank god." 

"I hate McDonald's but the girls love it." 

In a statement from McDonald's head of communications Simon Kenny, he said he was unaware of the incident and directed Newshub to police. 

A police spokesperson told Newshub they're investigating an "incident" that happened in New Lynn on Wednesday.

"At around 6.23pm, we received a report that a person had been assaulted with a weapon (not a firearm) at a commercial address on Memorial Drive," they added.

Officers couldn't find the victim or any of the perpetrators, but they have spoken to witnesses at the scene.

The police spokesperson said late Wednesday evening, a man presented at Waitākere Hospital with an injury.

"Enquiries are ongoing to establish if the two incidents relate."