Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Brave terror victims speak out

Police have interviewed an eighth victim of the New Lynn terrorist attack who they say was tackled by the offender when he bravely came to the aid of one of the stabbing victims at the scene.

Detective Superintendent Tim Anderson says Police have been working closely with all of the victims from the Countdown Supermarket attack to ensure they are well supported following the traumatic incident.

“Police have identified and located an eighth victim late last week and have recorded his statement. He was not injured but was tackled by the offender when he bravely intervened in an attempt to stop the terrorist attacking a woman. He applied first aid to that victim before leaving to find his partner and get to safety,” said Det Supt Anderson.

He said all victims had been assigned a Police family liaison officer who was ensuring they received the welfare and support they need as they recover.

Five victims are at home recovering. Three remain in Auckland Hospital in a stable condition.

“Police have been working with the victims to ensure they have the opportunity to speak with media and tell their story if they wish to,” Det Supt Anderson said.

“One of the victims, Rodney Khan, has shared his story with one media outlet and has informed Police that while happy to be identified, he does not wish to do any further media interviews and has requested privacy.”

Police escort people to their cars after a violent extremist stabbed supermarket customers before being shot by police.

“Police would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Rodney’s actions on that day. A review of CCTV has shown that without hesitation Rodney ran straight toward danger when he heard members of the public in distress, and he distracted the terrorist who then turned on him. We have no doubt that Rodney’s actions on that day prevented further injury to others and while he is very humble about what he did, his actions were nothing short of heroic.”

Rodney is at home recovering from a dislocated shoulder and being well supported by family and friends, he said.

“Five victims have asked Police to provide statements on their behalf but four of them have asked that no details be released that would identify them. All the victims have said at this point they do not wish to speak with media and have asked that media do not contact them and allow them privacy.”

Here are the statements:

Statement from victim Susan Maddren who is recovering at home:

I would like to acknowledge and thank all the people that were involved in supporting myself and the other victims in the terrorist attack at LynnMall two weeks ago.  Your bravery and courage is commendable.

A special mention to the lady outside Countdown who tried to stop the bleeding from my hip and to the bus driver who kindly allowed me to enter her bus, where I felt safe and supported until the ambulance arrived.

I would like to thank the ambulance staff and all the doctors and nurses at Auckland hospital for the wonderful care I received.  I will never forget your genuine kindness and your willingness to go the extra mile to ensure my every need was met. Your ability to show both skills and compassion is a rare combination and one of which you can all be immensely proud.

My gratefulness to the Police cannot be under estimated. Their professionalism and attention to detail was outstanding.   At the time of the attacks they not only acted quickly to prevent others getting hurt, but provided ongoing support to my husband, our four children and to myself. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the support we are currently receiving from Victim Support.

My heart goes out to the other victims and their families.  Being a victim myself, I understand what they are going through and they are always in my thoughts.

To our friends, family, community, and all New Zealanders everywhere who have offered their support, your kindness is greatly appreciated. In particular a special thank you to my children’s schools who have gone above and beyond to show their love and support to us as a family.  I know this is who we are as a country and what we do best, and I will be forever grateful to you all.

Statement from family of one victim who is recovering in Auckland Hospital:

Our family would like to offer our sincere thanks and praise to the following people and organisations:

To all the courageous people who came to the aid of the victims of the attack, and all of the ambulance staff who were involved.

We acknowledge and commend your bravery and would like you to know and understand that your actions have been the difference between life or death, for our loved one in particular.

Our gratitude is endless.

To all of the Police staff involved, in particular the Tactical Team who shot and killed the offender preventing more people being attacked we acknowledge and commend your bravery. And also to all of the Police staff who are committed to providing ongoing support for our family.

To all the hospital staff involved, in particular the surgeons and nursing staff, for their initial and ongoing service to the victims of the attack as they recover, both physically and psychologically.

Our family would also like to acknowledge and send love to the family, friends and loved ones of all the victims of the attack, and the family friends and loved ones of all of the people present at the time it took place.

And finally, we would like to acknowledge our mighty New Zealand nation for your ongoing support and love during this extremely challenging time.

We will be forever grateful.

Statement from brother of victim still recovering Auckland Hospital:

On the day of the attack, I was informed of what had happened to my brother so I went to the hospital and was told that he was in surgery and would be placed in an induced coma for possibly 48 hours.

I felt that he was in good hands, so I went home and informed family.  I also talked with Victim Support and Police that evening and saw some of the news reports about the attack.  I felt fearful for those that had been injured and grief, especially for my brother in not knowing what the outcome for him would be.

My family, my partner’s family and extended family and friends were very supportive – everyone’s thoughts were with the injured and my brother received love and prayers from all directions.

I felt for the Police and in particular for the officers who had to shoot the attacker but believe it was the best outcome.

Even though the Prime Minister had said that in her opinion his name should not be made public, on Saturday morning the attacker’s name was announced which made me angry with lots of emotions going on, but I later came around and feel that he was an unfortunate person who somehow took the path he did and suffered the consequences in a country where that ideology could not work.

Over the next few days my brother improved with astounding speed and it was so pleasing to see the improvements in him each day leading to him being able to walk around with assistance only four days after his ordeal.  He had been feeling a bit sorry for himself not remembering all that happened to him on the Friday the attack occurred.

However, a few days later, he gave me a huge smile when I arrived, and I knew that he would soon be his old self again (only family and friends know what I mean). He has his voice back and we will not be able to stop him from talking about the things he is passionate about. We love him so much.

Our brother had a small setback with his breathing, but it has been sorted and he is now improving again.  He has a bit of a journey to go yet before he is back to his old self and I have talked with several people such as ACC, special support, Police and hospital staff who will make sure my brother has the right support for the best outcome.

This country has gone through so much drama in the last couple of years with global warming, natural disasters, terrorism, Covid19 etc that I don’t believe any other government could have done a better job than ours today and thanks to them, the Police, health workers & front line workers. New Zealand is still the best country in the world.

I have talked with so many wonderful people in the last few days including my brother, family, friends, Idea Services, Polo and Michelle, and my partner.

Be kind and smile, my brother’s healing journey continues.

I would like to thank the people at the scene in Lynn Mall who stepped up and possibly saved lives with their quick responses.  I would also like to thank the Police who shut it down so quickly and for their follow up in supporting my brother and myself. The ambulance paramedics and the hospital staff – the surgeons, doctors and nurses that have interacted and supported our family.

Armed police guard the mall entrance the morning after the terror attack.

Statement from victim recovering from home.

It is with much gratitude we wish to thank the following people for their love, care and support, Detectives Brendon Pearson, Brett Roberts and our family liaison officer, Victim Support, staff at Green Bay Medical Center, ACC, Pastor’s Simon and Monique Radford and the caring family at Laingholm Baptist Church, also our thoughtful neighbours and our wonderful supportive loving family. Most of all we give Honor and Praise to our Lord and Saviour, The Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that without Him we may not be here today and we continue to pray in Jesus name for all those who have been affected through this terrorist attack, Psalm34v4-8

Statement from victim recovering at home:

I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who helped me during and after the attack on Friday 3rd September. I’d like to personally thank Countdown staff, police, ambulance staff, paramedics, hospital nurses, doctors, admin staff, radiologists, surgeons, anaesthetists and Victim Support. I’m truly overwhelmed by your professional assistance, care and kindness.

Thank you to the public for their expressions of kindness and care.

I’d like to pass on my condolences and love to the other survivors. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

This was a horrific experience and I’m incredibly grateful to God for saving my, and the other survivors’ lives. I am now at home recovering.

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