Police officers who tailing the extremist attacker of Auckland Supermarket were unable to follow him closely when he entered the supermarket due to the low number of people in the supermarket under alert level 4 restrictions New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Cister has told the media today. Police officers tailing the man, as part of heavy surveillance which had been in place for 53 days, they waited near the entrance of the supermarket he has further said.
NewZealand Herald reports that while a timeline of yesterday’s attack was still being formed, Coster said there was no indication an attack was imminent when the man arrived at the supermarket via train at 2.20 pm.
“The surveillance team following him observed him taking a trolley at the supermarket and begin shopping as we had observed him doing on previous occasions,” Coster said.
“He was shopping as normal for approximately 10 minutes before the attack started.”
Based on CCTV footage, Coster said the attack – which involved the man taking a kitchen knife off a shelf – lasted between 60-90 seconds. Officers heard shouts and saw people running and responded within 60 seconds, shooting the man.
Police have tonight released the ages of the victims injured in yesterday’s terrorist attack in Auckland as officials prepare to release more details about the attacker.
They are four women aged 29, 43, 60 and 66, and three men aged 53, 57 and 77.
Five people are in hospital, three of whom are in critical condition. The remaining two are recovering at home after a Sri Lankan national under heavy police surveillance carried out a knife attack at Countdown in New Lynn.
Initially, it was understood only six people had been injured. Overnight, police learned of a seventh person who had narrowly missed being stabbed by the 32-year-old man. He received a minor injury which he treated at home.
“This man narrowly avoided more serious injury when he evaded the attacker,” Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said.