- A man entered a New Zealand store where he took out a knife and injured six people, police said.
- The prime minister said the man was being monitored and was a supporter of ISIS ideology.
- Police said they shot and killed him within 60 seconds of him starting his attack.
Police in New Zealand shot and killed a man who stabbed six people in a supermarket on Friday in what the prime minister has called a terrorist attack by an ISIS supporter.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a Friday briefing that “a violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders,” Reuters reported.
“He obviously was a supporter of ISIS ideology,” she said.
Ardern said he was killed within 60 seconds of starting his attack, which took place in the Countdown supermarket in Auckland.
Police said that they were able to kill him so quickly because they were already monitoring him, the Associated Press reported. They added that they would have been able to do so even quicker, but the man knew he was being tracked and so police had to keep some distance.
“To everyone who was there and who witnessed such a horrific event, I can’t imagine how they will be feeling in the aftermath,” Ardern said. “But thank you for coming to the aid of those who needed you when they needed you.”
Ardern said the man, who was originally from Sri Lanka, was known to the police and was being monitored, but that he had not done anything that meant he should already have been detained before the attack.
“Had he done something that would have allowed us to put him into prison, he would have been in prison,” Ardern said, according to the AP.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said the man, who has not been named, used a knife from the store in his attack.
The six victims have been hospitalized, police said, according to the AP. Three are in critical condition, one in serious condition, and two in moderate condition.
Ardern 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 is gripped by ideology that is not supported here by anyone or any community.”