Sydney mass-stabbing brings back painful memories

Dallas Wilson. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Dallas Wilson. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The mass-stabbing in a Sydney mall sent one victim of the 2021 Dunedin Countdown stabbing straight back to his 90 seconds of pure terror.

Another Countdown victim says his heart goes out to those involved in Sydney as he continues to struggle daily with what happened to him in Dunedin three years ago.

The pair were two of four people stabbed by 42-year-old Luke Lambert, who was apparently suffering mental health problems at the time, at the Countdown Dunedin Central on May 10, 2021.

Dallas Wilson was critically injured after he was stabbed by Lambert four times.

Mr Wilson, a store manager at the supermarket at the time, said yesterday the Sydney stabbing, in which six victims have so far died at the hand of an apparently mentally disturbed man, "obviously brings back a lot of bad memories".

"It just sounds really horrific and grotty and upsetting."

He said the Dunedin incident was "all over in 90 seconds", but the feeling was one of "pure terror", as he attempted to stop the attacker.

As he restrained Lambert from behind, the man reached around and inflicted four wounds with the 7cm knife he had pulled from the store’s shelves.

Mr Wilson sustained a severe wound to his abdomen, one that touched his lung, one just short of the liver and another that was so deep it hit his pelvic bone.

"It was something that happened in an instant.

"I suppose the Sydney incident is on another level when you consider the number of young people who were attacked. They were all just getting on with their day at the mall.

"You also hear stories of incredible bravery, and more of those stories will come out as time goes on."

The Sydney incident was "massive", he said.

Jorge Fuenzalida. PHOTO: CRAIG BAXTER.                                                           ...
Jorge Fuenzalida. PHOTO: CRAIG BAXTER.
"People will just be in shock, it’s just not something you would expect to happen. It’s just dreadful. I hope those in hospital recover. We were lucky that in Dunedin there was no-one killed."

Corrections officer Jorge Fuenzalida and his wife Vanessa Miller-Andrews were both also severely injured by Lambert.

Mr Fuenzalida suffered a deep wound to the left side of his neck, which came within 1cm of major blood vessels, as well as a broken wrist.

He said yesterday he still thought about the incident every day, and the Sydney events brought it back into greater focus.

"Every day has been a struggle since that incident three years ago. You relive it in your mind every day.

"My heart goes out to those affected by the events in Sydney."

Mr Fuenzalida said he intervened during the stabbing event in Dunedin to "avoid others being hurt or killed".

"I got hurt, and my wife got hurt in the process. It’s still very hard, and very much on my mind.

The stabbing events had left him with a serious case of PTSD, he said.

It remains unclear why Lambert, who is serving 13 years in prison for the stabbing, unleashed the carnage.

matthew.littlewood@odt.co.nz

Where to get help:

• Lifeline: Call 0800 543 354 or text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: Call 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: Call 0800 376 633 or text 234
• What's Up: Call 0800 942 8787 (11am to 11pm) or webchat (11am to 10.30pm)
• Depression helpline: Call 0800 111 757 or text 4202 (available 24/7)
• Helpline: Need to talk? Call or text 1737
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111

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