New Zealand police shot and killed a "violent extremist" on Friday after he entered a supermarket in New Zealand and stabbed six people, in what the prime minister called a “terrorist attack.”
The man, who was not immediately identified past the fact that he was a Sri Lankan national and had been previously known to New Zealand’s security forces, entered the supermarket around 2:40 p.m., Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, according to The New York Times.
She also noted that he “was a supporter of ISIS ideology,” Reuters reported.
“A violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders in the New Lynn Countdown in Auckland,” Ardern said on Friday, according to the Times.
The man allegedly shouted “Allahu akbar” after entering the store — which translates to “God is great” — and began going after shoppers in the store, witnesses said, The Associated Press reported.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said that police shot and killed him after the man started moving toward them with a knife. Arden said that within 60 seconds of starting his attack the man had been killed, Reuters reported.
Officials said that three people in critical condition were transported to hospitals. Two other shoppers were in moderate condition and another was in serious condition, according to the AP.
Calling the attack “despicable” and “hateful,” Ardern said, “It was carried out by an individual — not a faith, not a culture, not an ethnicity, but an individual person who is gripped by ideology that is not supported here by anyone or any community. He alone carries the responsibility for these acts; let that be where the judgment falls,” according to the Times.
The incident prompted a painful flashback to a 2019 shooting when 51 people were killed at two Christchurch mosques by a white supremacist, the AP noted.