“This was a violent attack, it was senseless, and I’m so sorry it happened” – PM

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Sep 03, 2021 |

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at this afternoon’s press conference

The terrorist who stabbed six shoppers, before being shot dead by police was an “Isis-inspired known threat” who was under “constant police surveillance.”

Police were following the man after he left home in Glen Eden, and walked into the New Lynn Countdown this afternoon before he grabbed a knife from a shelf, and carried out the attack.

“This was a violent attack. It was senseless, and I’m so sorry it happened” The Prime Minster said.

“The attack was undertaken by an individual who was a known threat to New Zealand, the individual was under constant monitoring. And it was the police surveillance team and Special Tactics group, who were part of that monitoring and surveillance that shot and killed him, within, I’m told the space of roughly 60 seconds of the attack.”

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said “this individual was under heavy surveillance, as a consequence of concerns about his ideology.”

He said the terrorist “travelled from where he lives in Glen Eden, to the countdown in New Lynn, as he had done before.”

“He was closely watched by surveillance teams, and a tactical team to monitor his actions and behavior. He entered the store as he had done before. He obtained a knife from within the store. Surveillance teams were as close as they possibly could be to monitor his activity.”

When the commotion started, police tactical teams moved into his location and engaged him.

“When he approached them with the knife. He was shot and killed.”

“The terrorist is a Sri Lankan national who arrived in New Zealand in October of 2011. He became a person of national security interest in 2016.

The detailed reasons he is known to the agencies are the subject of suppression orders made by the court.

The Prime Minister said “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.”

“This is someone that has been closely monitored. There was nothing that we’re aware of at this point in time to indicate that what he was going to do was going to happen today, but obviously, because he was being closely followed and watched.”

The Prime Minister said “the community here has been nothing but helpful and supportive, It would be wrong to direct any frustration and anyone beyond this individual.”

The Prime Minister said the terrorist had “violent ideology and ISIS-inspired.”

“This is an individual who was known to multiple agencies, a range of efforts were undertaken around this particular individual. There are very few I would classify in this way.”

”I was personally aware of him.”

”This was someone who was known to our national security agencies, and was of concern and therefore was being monitored constantly. There are very few who fall into this category and I can give you that assurance.”

”I can tell you that agencies were using every single possible means available to them, to protect the New Zealand public from this individual”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

Have you got a news tip? Get in touch here

got a news tip?