Police officers detain a man after a stabbing incident at the Countdown supermarket, in Dunedin, New Zealand, May 10, 2021 in this screen grab taken from video.
Police officers detain a man after a stabbing incident at the Countdown supermarket, in Dunedin, New Zealand, May 10, 2021 in this screen grab taken from video.

Police in New Zealand said a man was taken into custody Monday after he allegedly stabbed four people, critically injuring three of them, inside a grocery store in the city of Dunedin.

Southern district police commander Paul Basham said police responded to a midafternoon call reporting the stabbings in a supermarket next door to a Dunedin police station. He said when police arrived minutes later, they found four people with serious stab wounds. 

Basham said officers also found the suspected attacker had been subdued by members of the public. He said supermarket staff who also intervened were among the wounded. He called the actions of all those who stepped in “nothing short of heroic.”

Witnesses told local media the suspect entered the store carrying two large knives.  

Police said the suspect was taken into custody and treated for injuries he sustained while being subdued. No other information about the suspect was immediately available.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said investigators told her there is nothing regarding the incident to suggest it was terror related. She said police will release any new information regarding the attacker’s motive when they have it. 

The most recent mass-casualty attack in New Zealand was the Christchurch mosques shootings in March 2019, when a white supremacist gunman murdered 51 Muslim worshippers and severely injured another 40. The government responded to that incident by passing tough new gun laws.