Three people are fighting for life after a stabbing rampage inside a supermarket.
The horrific incident unfolded in the Countdown supermarket on Cumberland Street, Dunedin, New Zealand's South Island, on Monday afternoon.
St John ambulance confirmed four people were rushed to hospital following the attack - three people have critical injuries and the other has moderate injuries.
Kia ora, tonight: Multiple stabbings at a Dunedin supermarket, three critically injured, latest details & we hear from a witness of the scene outside. Unions angry at govt's pay freeze plan – they're meeting with the PM tomorrow. This & more at https://t.co/9aZYrN60fN, 101FM.— Checkpoint (@CheckpointRNZ) May 10, 2021
Two of the injured are Countdown employees while the other two are customers who were inside the store at the time a man carrying two knives unleashed his ferocious attack about 2:30pm (NZST).
News outlet Stuff reported armed police attended the scene, just metres from the iconic Dunedin Railway Station and the city's heart, the Octagon.
Police said in a statement that one person was taken into custody.
A witness told the Otago Daily Times: 'We just heard a scream and thought someone must've fallen, but it got louder and louder and more people were screaming'.
'I saw one red hand among the people; a bloody hand, and everybody started running towards the exits.'
Onlookers had reportedly tried to tackle the armed man to the ground before police arrived.
A witness told Stuff the attacker was 'quite a messy little fellow' with curly hair.
The supermarket has been closed for the remainder of Monday. It will stay closed on Tuesday.
Countdown managing director Spencer Sonn said the 'priority right now is our injured team members and caring for our wider team in the wake of this extremely traumatic event'.
'We have been concerned about the escalating violence towards our team, and this is something we have continued to talk and raise as an issue over the last year.'
#BREAKING: Three people have been critically injured and another is in a serious condition following an alleged stabbing rampage at a supermarket on New Zealand's South Island. #Dunedin https://t.co/INJPZo0C6Q— Yahoo News Australia (@YahooNewsAU) May 10, 2021
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said an early assessment by police indicated there was nothing to suggest a domestic terror event.
'Needless to say such an attack is hugely concerning,' Ms Ardern said.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.