Auckland attack: Countdown temporarily removes knives and scissors from shelves

Source: 1 NEWS

Many staff at Countdown stores around New Zealand shared a socially distanced cup of tea as they digested the terrorist attack that took place at the company's LynnMall store in Auckland on Friday.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 03: Police guard the area around Countdown LynnMall after a violent extremist took out a terrorist attack stabbing six people before being shot by police on September 03, 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand. A man has been killed by police after injuring multiple people in a mass stabbing incident at LynnMall supermarket in West Auckland. Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern has addressed the country describing the attack as violent and senseless. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

The company has also temporarily removed knives and scissors from sale, as has Foodstuffs from its stores - New World, Pak'nSave and Four Square.

A man known to security services for his violent extremist views grabbed a knife from the store and began attacking customers, injuring six, three critically.

He was shot dead in the store by police.

All Countdown stores opened at 10am today as staff came to terms with what happened.

It comes just months after four people were injured in a stabbing attack at Dunedin Central Countdown.

That was not a terrorist attack.

Countdown general manager Kiri Hannifin thanked customers for supporting their decision to open late, and all those who had sent messages of support.

"This morning many of our teams throughout Aotearoa have taken some time to get together to talk, share a physically distanced cup of tea, and support each other following yesterday’s event in our LynnMall store," she said.

"Our team is a family and when one of our stores is hurting, we all are."

Hannifin said their thoughts were with those injured and their families, and she thanked emergency services for their assistance.

All knives and scissors had been removed from shelves while a decision is made on their future sale.

"This is in no way a reflection on our customers, but an act of support for our team. We want all of our team to feel safe when they come to work, especially considering the events of yesterday." 

Head of corporate affairs at Foodstuffs Antoinette Laird said its thoughts were with those affected.

"Everyone deserves to be able to go to work and visit essential services like the supermarket safely. While we consider the event and take some time to review the safety of our customers and staff Foodstuffs stores have removed sharp knives from sale."