Updated Sep 3, 2021 - World

New Zealand police kill "ISIS-inspired terrorist" after mass stabbing at mall

 Armed police patrol the area around Countdown LynnMall after a mass stabbing incident on September 03, 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Armed police patrol the area around Countdown LynnMall after a mass stabbing in west Auckland, New Zealand, on Friday. Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

New Zealand police shot dead a man after he entered an Auckland supermarket and stabbed multiple people in an "ISIS-inspired" terrorist attack on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Details: Authorities said six people were taken to hospital, three with critical injuries, after the stabbing at the supermarket in LynnMall shopping center. The attacker was a known "violent extremist," Ardern said at a briefing.

  • "The terrorist is a Sri Lankan national who arrived in 2011," Ardern said, noting he came to security services' attention in 2016.
  • Ardern said he was being constantly monitored as he could not legally be imprisoned, and that police were nearby when the attack happened.
  • New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said in an emailed statement police believe the man "took a knife from one of the supermarket shelves" and then stabbed the shoppers about 2:30p.m local time.
  • Police shot him less than a minute later.

The big picture: Auckland is under New Zealand's strictest lockdown level due to a COVID-19 outbreak of the Delta variant. Most businesses are closed under level 4, but grocery stores are among those allowed to open because they're an essential service.

  • The rest of the country has moved to level 3 restrictions, as authorities say community case numbers, mostly in Auckland, are trending downward.

Of note: This was the second terrorist attack to hit New Zealand in just over two years, after a white supremacist killed 51 Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Christchurch.

  • Asked about concerns of a backlash against New Zealand's Muslim community, Ardern said it "would be absolutely wrong" to "direct any frustration at anyone beyond this individual."
"What happened today was despicable. It was hateful, it was wrong, it was carried out by an individual, not a faith, not a culture, not an ethnicity, but an individual person who was gripped by ideology that is not supported here by anyone or any community."
ā€” Ardern

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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