New Zealand: Somali man at centre of Christchurch rampage
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Christchurch Police are still trying to piece together details about the man who allegedly abducted a truck driver and stabbed two people this morning before being shot twice by police.
A 27-year-old Christchurch man, born in Somalia, is currently under police guard at Christchurch hospital.
Police say it may be some time before they can interview him, depending on his medical condition. They have today spoken to members of the man's family in Christchurch.
No charges have yet been been laid against him.
Police received reports just after 7am of a man in the grounds of Redwood School who confronted the caretaker and a teacher with a knife.
The caretaker and teacher locked themselves in a classroom as the man tried to gain entry.
Police cordoned off the school but the man ran away.
The man managed to get into a food delivery truck being driven by a woman who was apparently forced to drive across the city.
When she arrived at Halswell Road ONE News understands she argued with the man and was stabbed in the shoulder.
She has been taken to Christchurch Hospital and is likely to be discharged later today.
The man is then alleged to have got out of the truck and aggressively confronted other motorists and passers-by with a knife.
A man driving a Christchurch City Council car got involved and suffered serious stab wounds.
He is reported to be in a serious but stable condition in Christchurch Hospital.
The knife-wielding man was then seen walking along the road carrying what have been described as "chef's knives", before being confronted by a group of men, one of whom had a crowbar.
"The guy with the crowbar was just trying to get him (the man carrying the knives) to bugger off, settle down," eyewitness Tom Kerhofs told ONE News.
"Told to drop the knives"
Kerhofs said the man was trying to get into people's cars and he saw several people calling the police.
"(When) the police arrived he got told to drop the knives but he didn't," he said.
"The officer got a gun but he still didn't drop the knives, then two more officers arrived, one with a Taser and another with pepper spray.
"The guy Tasered him but it didn't get through the clothing, I think, (because) it had no effect, they pepper sprayed him, he made a move, still with the knives in his hand and the policeman shot him."
Police said the man rushed at officers with a knife and an officer armed with a Glock pistol fired two shots, hitting the man in the arm and shoulder.
He was treated at the scene by ambulance officers before being admitted to hospital.
Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff said the man is receiving treatment for injuries which are described as not life-threatening.
The scene at the intersection of Hoon Hay and Halswell Roads has been cordoned off and is likely to remain closed for much of the day.
Police have appealed to the public for information to help police form a clearer picture of this morning's incident.
Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff said police want to speak to any witnesses.
"The incident occurred at a busy intersection in peak time, and was seen by a number of people," Cliff said.
"A number of witnesses have already come forward and provided valuable information - but we would like to hear from anyone who has seen what has occurred."
Cliff said wide ranging investigations are now underway. The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been notified and will investigate the officers' actions.
"Everything about what we understand the police officers have done tells us they acted correctly, but that is subject to an independent review," Cliff said.
Redwood School is expected to remain closed for the rest of today while a scene examination is conducted.