Police in Auckland, New Zealand, shot dead a "known violent extremist" who stabbed six people in a supermarket, in an "ISIS-inspired terrorist attack," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference Friday. Three of the victims are in critical condition, one is in serious condition, and the other two are in moderate condition, BBC News reports.
Ardern said she is constrained by court order from identifying the attacker, but he was a Sri Lankan national who came to New Zealand in 2011 and has been "a known threat" since 2016. He was being closely and continuously monitored by a police surveillance team that shot him dead "within, I'm told, the space of roughly 60 seconds of the attack starting," Ardern said. The attack will be scrutinized in several investigations, she added.
Auckland is under strict lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, and supermarkets are one of the few businesses open. The attacker entered the Countdown LynMall supermarket, "as he had done before," at about 2:40 p.m. local time, then "obtained a knife from within the store," Police Commissioner Andrew Costner said. "Surveillance teams were as close as they possibly could be to monitor his activity," and they shot the man when he approached police with the knife."
Countdown's general manger of safety, Kiri Hannifin, said she was "devastated by what's taken place in our LynnMall store," and that supermarket "will be closed until further notice."