Police decision to shoot Isis-inspired terrorist now subject of independent investigation

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The choice by police to fatally shoot an Islamic State sympathiser, who allegedly planned a “lone wolf” knife attack in Auckland today, will be subject to an independent investigation.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster tonight confirmed the Independent Police Conduct Authority and the Coroner would both investigate the incident.

“The investigations will look into the circumstances of this event and what has occurred,” Coster said.

The man stabbed six innocent supermarket shoppers today in what PM Jacinda Ardern said was an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack.

Police were following the man after he left home and walked into the New Lynn Countdown this afternoon, before he took a knife from a shelf, and carried out the attack.

Three of the six shoppers are in a critical condition in hospital.

In a statement, Coster said the man was under police surveillance “because of concerns about his violent, extremist views”.

He entered Countdown at Lynn Mall about 2.30pm.

“Inside the store, we believe this man took a knife from one of the supermarket shelves and attacked shoppers,” Coster said.

“Covert Police Specialist Tactics Group (STG) staff, who had been surveilling and following the man as closely as possible without detection, immediately responded to the attack (within around 60 seconds).The police staff challenged the man and diverted his attention.

“He charged at them with the knife and the officers shot him.”

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Coste3r said he died at the scene shortly afterwards.

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

“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 self-presented at Waitakere Hospital after the incident with moderate injuries.

“The attacker was under constant surveillance and was today observed leaving his Glen Eden property and travelling to the supermarket, as he had done previously without incident.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“Police will be ensuring support is available to anyone affected by today’s event.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.”

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