New Zealand supermarket group Countdown said on Saturday it had removed knives and scissors from its shelves, a day after a man authorities called an Islamist extremist stabbed six people in one of the company’s stores.
“Last night we made the decision to temporarily remove all knives and scissors from our shelves while we consider whether we should continue to sell them,” said Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s general manager for safety.
“We want our entire team to feel safe when they come to work, especially given yesterday’s events,” she said in a media statement.
Other supermarket chains had also withdrawn sharp knives from sale, local media reported.
Police shot dead the attacker, a Sri Lankan citizen who cannot be named due to court orders. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the man was inspired by the terrorist group ISIS and was under constant police surveillance.
Police followed the man as he entered the Countdown supermarket in Auckland’s New Lynn shopping centre. They said they thought he had gone shopping, but he grabbed a knife from a display and started stabbing people.
Police said they shot him within a minute of starting the attack. Three of the six victims are in critical condition.
Ardern said the attacker had been under surveillance since 2016 for his support of a violent ideology inspired by the Islamic State. By law, the man was not allowed to be kept in jail, so he was instead kept under constant surveillance.
The government has requested an urgent lifting of the suppression orders so that more details about the person can be made public. Ardern is expected to address the media at 0200 GMT.