Report and commentary: A man thought to be so dangerous he was placed under constant police surveillance for two months was free to stab six shoppers and injure one at an Auckland supermarket on Friday 3 September. He was shot and killed by police at the Lynmall Countdown store in New Lynn by undercover officers who had followed him.
However, before he was killed, three people received critical knife injuries, one was left in a serious condition, and two received moderate injuries. The victims are four women aged 29, 43, 60 and 66, and three men aged 53, 57 and 77.
The 32-year-old Sri Lankan kifeman had been on the government’s watch list since 2016, and apparently the great and the good had done their best to keep the public safe, but failed.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern, speaking at a press conference shortly after the knife attacks on Friday, says she is “sorry”.
Police say: “We want to assure the community that these were the actions of a lone individual with a violent extremist ideology.”
Meanwhile, Aucklander Vinny Eastwood – who took part in a peaceful street protest against the government’s covid lockdown – was arrested in August for breaching lockdown rules, spent a night in the cells, and released on bail.
His bail conditions include that he abide by a 24 hour curfew until his court date on September 10. Eastwood must not own or possess any internet capable devices and must not access the internet.
Eastwood, via his partner, says he faces up to six months in prison if found guilty of breaching lockdown rules and/or up to $4,000 in fines.
So it seems strange that prime minister Ardern, the police, and the highest court in the land, were unable to prevent a ‘person of interest’ from carrying out an attack on helpless members of the public while someone excising their legal right to protest is arrested, denied freedom of movement, to send an email or post items on his own website.
Why is it that a harmless protestor is denied his liberty and use of a smartphone, while a known nutter was free to roam the city?