A local man who helped stop a stabbing attack on Auckland’s North Shore on Thursday morning recounted attempting to talk to the alleged offender as he made his way to Mairangi Bay.
Ian Kingon said he had been walking his neighbour’s dog along Gulf View Road when he saw one of the victims “running off the beach to say she had been stabbed”.
Kingon said he went into "fight, fight risk-assessment mode" after he and another man saw the alleged offender and started following him from a safe distance.
“I was very aware of the knife, which was in his hand. He never turned and threatened us with the knife," he told 1News.
"I tried to talk to him. I asked if he'd like to put the knife down and to talk to us but he never communicated with us at all."
He recounted hearing police sirens in the distance.
“I just said to the other driver that was helping me, ‘There’s no need for us to confront this man, let’s just make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone else'.”
The pair continued to follow the alleged offender, where they were soon joined by two young tradesmen at a nearby job site who "responded without hesitation" after they were alerted to what was happening.
The group followed the man as he made his way to Mairangi Bay when he noticed a group of parents with their young children.
“I was just telling them to grab the children and run as fast as they could," he said.
“At that stage, the other three guys had sort of corralled him up against a white car."
Kingon said as the man turned his back to "try and get away", one of the tradesmen "managed to borrow, grab a crutch from a gentleman that was standing here" and disarmed him.
"He got a blow to the head, a blow to the wrist and then that caused him to drop the knife," he said.
"The young man just grabbed the knife, threw it out of the way and immediately, the four of us just closed ranks around him and wouldn’t let him get up.
“Maybe two minutes later, the police just swarmed over the place."
Superintendent Naila Hassan said in a press conference on Thursday that the attack began when the alleged offender, a 41-year-old local man armed with “quite a large knife”, stabbed the occupant of a home in Murrays Bay around 11.18am.
He then moved to the beach area where he stabbed three people near a bus stop.
Hassan said that the time between police receiving the first report and his apprehension was “less than 10 minutes”.
Four people were taken to hospital, all in a moderate condition.
Hassan earlier acknowledged the group, who she said "acted with extreme bravery".
A police investigation into Thursday's incident continues.