Four stabbed in ‘random’ attack in Auckland, say New Zealand police

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Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Four people have been stabbed in what police described as a “random” knife attack in the North shore of Auckland.

According to witness reports and police, the alleged attacker was chased and apprehended by construction workers – including one brandishing crutches.

“Members of the public … acted with extreme bravery this morning,” Waitematā District Commander superintendent Naila Hassan said at a media briefing on Thursday afternoon. “It absolutely could have been a lot worse and that’s why I really need to acknowledge the bravery of those members of the public.”

She added that there was no indication of a hate crime, with victims of differing genders, ethnicities and ages.

Police called it a “random attack” and that it did not appear to have been planned. The alleged attacker had been injured, and was in hospital, said police.

Hassan said: “This was an extremely fast-moving incident where our police staff responded quickly … I want to acknowledge the traumatic event this would have been for the victims.”

A woman walking her dog, who witnessed the incident, told local news site Stuff that one of the construction workers used his crutches to stop the suspect. A large knife and a broken crutch were photographed lying on the road at the scene.

Melanie Sharma-Barrow, who lives in Murray’s Bay a few minutes away from where the attack had occurred, said her street had been cordoned off. “Everyone is just shocked,” she said. “This is a seriously safe community … That Murrays Bay spot where the stabbing happened … is seen as such a safe place.”

Sharma-Barrow said the area where the attack took place was “a hub for children. The kids go down there and jump off the pier, the ice-cream van goes there – on a different date the destruction could have been massive.”

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