Thursday, July 18, 2024

Police Commissioner appeals for witnesses to terror attack

NZ Police Commissioner, Andrew Coster has appealed to witnesses of today’s west Auckland terrorist attack to come forward.

“Our thoughts are with the victims of today’s attack, their families and those who were caught up in this horrific event. People have an absolute right to feel safe going about their normal activities,” Commissioner Coster said in a statement released this evening.

“The scene is currently locked down and will be the subject of an extensive scene examination. We are also in the process of compiling witness information and collecting CCTV footage.

“Today’s events will now be the subject of investigations by the IPCA and Coroner. The investigations will look into the circumstances of this event and what has occurred.

“Police will continue to have a high presence in the area and will be conducting a number of reassurance patrols over the coming period. We want to assure the community that these were the actions of a lone individual with a violent extremist ideology. He did not represent any New Zealand community and responsibility must lie with him alone.

“Anyone who witnessed the incident and who has not spoken to Police is asked to contact Police on 105 quoting OPERATION RALLY.”

“Police would like anyone with photos or video of today’s incident to submit this to our investigation.”

An online portal has been set up and people can access this at https://rally.nzpolice.org

He also confirmed the man had been shot dead by Covert Police Specialist Tactics Group (STG) staff, who had been surveilling and following the man closely, and immediately responded when the attack began.

“The Police staff challenged the man and diverted his attention. He charged at them with the knife and the officers shot him. He died at the scene shortly afterwards,” Commissioner Coster said.

“Police are not seeking anyone else in relation to this event and we are confident this man acted alone.”

Six people were injured in the attack. Three people received critical injuries and were taken to Auckland City Hospital. A fourth person is in a serious condition, and a fifth was taken to hospital in a moderate condition. A sixth victim was transported to Waitakere Hospital with moderate injuries.

“Our Police staff acted quickly and with great courage to stop this man and prevent any further harm to members of the public.”

“I want to acknowledge this quick response and the bravery of the Police staff who responded. I also want to acknowledge all the people who offered assistance at the scene,” the Commissioner said.

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