New Zealand attacker who stabbed seven people in supermarket unmasked

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Police Respond To Mass Stabbing Incident In West Auckland (Getty Images)
Police Respond To Mass Stabbing Incident In West Auckland (Getty Images)

The man who stabbed and injured seven people at a New Zealand supermarket has been identified as Ahamed Samsudeen.

The 32-year-old, who arrived in New Zealand from Sri Lanka in 2011 on a student visa, attacked civilians in Auckland on Friday.

He was under surveillance of 30 police officers in weeks leading up to the attack after he was classified as a high-risk person of interest by authorities.

He had been charged for numerous offences which included possessing knives.

Samsudeen was on the police’s radar since 2016 when he shared violent videos and extremist views online, New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters on Saturday.

He also spent three years in jail in connection to a number of charges before his release in July.

The attack unfolded at about 2.40pm at a Countdown supermarket.

Ms Ardern said because the man was under constant monitoring, a police surveillance team and a special tactics group were able to shoot and kill him within 60 seconds of the attack starting.

Mr Coster said they had concerns about the man’s ideology and kept very close tabs on him. He said they followed him from his home to the supermarket on Friday.

"He entered the store, as he had done before. He obtained a knife from within the store," Coster said. "Surveillance teams were as close as they possibly could be to monitor his activity."

Mr Coster said when the commotion started, two police from the special tactics group rushed over. He said the man approached police with the knife and so they shot and killed him.

One bystander video taken from inside the supermarket records the sound of 10 shots being fired in rapid succession.

Some shoppers in the supermarket reportedly tried to help those who had been wounded with towels and diapers.

Five victims remain in hospital - three of them in critical condition and two are stable.

The other two victims were treated in hospital and are recovering at home.

On Saturday, Ms Ardern said: "No terrorist alive or deceased deserves their name to be shared for the infamy they are seeking."

Auckland remains in a strict lockdown as it battles an outbreak of Covid-19.

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