Supermarket stabbing accused in court

The man who allegedly went on a stabbing rampage in a Dunedin supermarket will keep his identity under wraps until next month.

The 42-year-old appeared in the Dunedin District Court this afternoon facing four charges of attempted murder after allegedly attacking two staff members and a married couple at the Cumberland St Countdown in the central city yesterday.

Emergency services vehicles swiftly flooded the scene and the victims were rushed to the nearby hospital where they remained today.

Three were in a serious but stable state, while one was in a moderate condition.

The defendant, who was also briefly hospitalised before being discharged last night, appeared in the dock wearing a white cover-all garment, bare-footed with a white plaster on his right forearm.

He stood with his head bowed in the dock only looking up when the judge addressed him.

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.

Judge Peter Rollo granted the order and remanded the man in custody until that date.

He confirmed there was no formal mental-health assessment sought.

The accused is taken away by police following the incident at Countdown in central Dunedin...
The accused is taken away by police following the incident at Countdown in central Dunedin yesterday. Photo: Christine O'Connor

Corrections today confirmed that one of those stabbed was a staff member and it is understood his wife was also wounded.

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

Meanwhile, the son of one of those injured told the Otago Daily Times his mother's wounds were "pretty bad" and he spent yesterday by her bedside.

The man believed the mother of four - a Countdown worker - 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.

The department manager was also understood to be among those injured.

His long-time friend Anne Coulthard told The New Zealand Herald she had 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 said it was a sad day when such a tragic event happened in Dunedin.

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

The defendant, sources told the ODT, had spent a lot of time in and around the central Dunedin supermarket.

He was such a frequent visitor staff knew him by a nickname, they said. 

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