Corrections officer, Countdown staff injured

A Countdown staff member and mother of four remains in hospital after a stabbing attack at the central Dunedin supermarket.

Four people were seriously injured in yesterday's incident at Countdown in Cumberland St. The man accused of the attack was also injured.

The woman's son, who asked not to be named, said doctors appeared confident that she would recover from her injuries.

He spent all of yesterday by her bedside and described the knife wounds as "pretty bad".

The man told the Otago Daily Times he understood his mother had been blind-sided during the incident, but had been unable to confirm the exact sequence of events.

"She wasn't really talking much yesterday," he said.

Yesterday's news had been so devastating, the victim's son said he could not even remember how he had found out.

He said he was struggling to take it all in and his siblings felt the same.

Countdown staff comfort each other as a stabbing victim is rushed to an ambulance outside the...
Countdown staff comfort each other as a stabbing victim is rushed to an ambulance outside the central Dunedin store yesterday. Photo: Christine O'Connor.

Corrections Southern regional commissioner Ben Clark said their focus was ensuring that the staff member, their family and colleagues had all the support they need during this ''stressful and difficult time''.

''We would like to thank the emergency services, police and supermarket staff for the help they provided following the incident.

''To respect the privacy of our staff member and their family, we will not be providing any further comment.''

A Corrections officer was also identified as one of the four injured in yesterday's violent knife attack.

The man and his wife were inside the Cumberland St store in central Dunedin when a man with a knife allegedly attacked four people, including two supermarket workers.

It is believed the Corrections officer worked at the Otago Corrections Facility and his wife, who was with him in the store, is a nurse.

Staff and members of the public were visibly emotional as they waited for news about the stabbing...
Staff and members of the public were visibly emotional as they waited for news about the stabbing incident at the central Dunedin Countdown supermarket yesterday. Photo: Christine O'Connor

One of the employees injured in the attack was believed to be a department manager at the supermarket.

Anne Coulthard told The New Zealand Herald he was a long-time friend and worked alongside him at the beginning of his career in the late 1990s.

"I have seen and watched him grow from a young teenager to a wonderful store manager. And always looked forward to seeing him when I shopped there, we often laughed about days past when he was so much younger."

Coulthard, a former supermarket worker, said it was a sad day when such a tragic event happened in Dunedin.

The injured department manager had previously worked at Countdown Andersons Bay in South Dunedin.

Countdown head of corporate affairs Kiri Hannifin told the AM Show said the two staff members injured in the attack were doing better today.

"We were very worried about them overnight but they are doing okay," she said.

Police said a 42-year-old man had been charged with four counts of attempted murder and appeared at Dunedin District Court today. 

Counsel John Westgate entered no plea on behalf of his client and asked for name suppression to be granted until the next appearance before the High Court in June.





Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter