National | Arrest

Dunedin man granted name suppression over Countdown stabbing incident

Scenes from the attack yesterday. Credit: Newshub / Otago Daily Times

The alleged attacker in the Dunedin Countdown stabbings made his first appearance today in the Dunedin District Court.

The 42-year old was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody. He entered no plea and will have his next court appearance in the Dunedin High Court on June 1.

The man faces four counts of attempted murder for allegedly stabbing four people - two of whom are Countdown employees, one a corrections officer and another member of the public who was shopping at the supermarket.

He was described as being of no fixed abode on the charge sheet and his lawyer did not seek a formal mental health assessment.

Southern District Commander Superintendant Paul Basham and Southern District Health Board clinical director Rich Stephenson spoke to the media at the Dunedin Police station later.

They said all victims remained in hospital. One was in a serious but stable condition and three were in a moderate condition.

Basham said they had a "long road ahead" in recovery.

He said gathering evidence from the scene was top of the police priorities today.

"This includes photography, blood sampling and collection of any discarded items for further examination.”

Thanking everyone

Basham praised the efforts of those who intervened to try to de-escalate the situation including members of the public as well as two police officers, one of whom was off duty.

“I’d like to recognise the Countdown staff who first intervened and were the initial victims.

"Members of the public then came to assist, restraining the alleged offender and providing aid and comfort to the injured.

“The actions of those two officers helped to de-escalate the situation and minimise any further harm."