NEW ZEALAND. Auckland: In an unfortunate incident on Monday night, a man armed with an axe broke into three Chinese restaurants in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, resulting in injuries to four individuals, according to authorities and witnesses.
A spokesperson from North Shore and Auckland hospitals reported that one victim has been discharged, while three others remain in stable condition as of Tuesday. The attack took place at around nine o’clock in the evening in the suburb of Albany, north Auckland, as confirmed by the police.
Local media reported that the assailant entered three Chinese establishments—Yues Dumpling Kitchen, Zhangliang Malatang, and Maya Hotpot—and began indiscriminately attacking people with the axe.
An eyewitness, speaking to the local news outlet Radio New Zealand, shared her account of the incident, stating that she and a friend were dining at Maya Hotpot when a man approached her friend with the weapon.
The eyewitness further explained that everyone in the restaurant stood up in alarm, and someone shouted, “What are you going to do? Why are you doing it?” before the assailant attacked her friend again.
Surveillance video footage, shared by the news website Stuff, depicted patrons fleeing from one of the eateries. Notably, one individual hurriedly exited backwards while using a chair as a makeshift barricade, while another person armed with a weapon closely pursued them.
New Zealand Police have detained a 24-year-old man in connection with the incident. The suspect is set to appear in court on Tuesday, facing charges of intentionally causing serious injury.
The police indicated that additional charges are expected to be brought against him. However, the motive behind the attack has not been disclosed by the authorities.
Inspector Stefan Sagar, in a statement, acknowledged the fear and distress caused by the incident for those directly involved and the wider community. He assured that appropriate support is being provided to the victims, as well as their friends and family.