Woman killed in 'horrific, traumatic and random attack'

A woman making her way home from work has been stabbed to death in what police called a "horrific, traumatic and random attack" in Christchurch.

Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price confirmed a 37-year-old man had been charged with murder after the death of the woman.

He will appear in court tomorrow.

The victim, in her 50s, was not known to the offender.

"This was a horrific, traumatic and random attack on an innocent person who was simply making her way home from work," he said.

The suspect is known to police.

Price said their thoughts were with the grieving family of the victim who were dealing with loss of partner, mother, friend and a colleague.

At this stage, police would not release further details of the victim until all next of kin were notified.

The traumatic, senseless act would have a huge impact on the community as a whole and right across New Zealand, he said.

"I want to reinforce that this was an isolated incident and we are not seeking anyone else."

Price also wanted to reassure residents of their presence in the area as they conduct a scene examination and look to speak to witnesses. He also called for anyone who saw anything, or anyone with CCTV footage, to come forward.

"No-one deserves this."

The knife has been found at the scene.

Emergency services were called to Cheyenne St at 4.20pm yesterday after reports a woman had been stabbed in the street, he said.

Staff arrived soon afterwards and gave assistance to woman who had been critically injured.

"She sadly died at the scene."

The man was found nearby by police and taken into custody.

A second man was taken into custody but was later found to be a family member of the man and was released.

The woman had caught a bus and was walking from the bus stop when the attack happened.

The brother of the suspect turned up shortly after the incident occurred.

Other agencies will be involved in the investigation, Price said, saying they want to get a total picture over the motive, means and manner.

The community, and the family, "need to understand the why" given the random nature of the horrific attack.

Price then spoke about a police shooting in Kaiapoi last night.

A man was allegedly threatening members of the public with a metal bar and knife.

He attacked a police car with the metal bar when officers arrived.

He was not cooperative with police – and tactical options including taser, OC spray and communication were deployed multipled times, Price said.

But they had no effect on the man or his behaviour.

He then went into a private residential driveway and police kept talking to him.

After a further period of negotiation, police fired multiple shots, injuring the man.

Police gave medical assistance to the man before he was rushed to hospital. He's still there in a serious but stable condition. Surgery was completed this morning.

Price urged witnesses to come forward.

"If you have any CCTV footage or cellphone footage, police contact police on 105."

Officers are still getting support, "as this will have a huge impact on them and their whanau".

"This isn't the outcome anyone wanted to happen."

The man's family has been notified and are being supported.

His identity cannot be revealed at this stage. The IPCA has been notified, while a police investigation and a critical incident inquiry is also under way.

Price did not know how many officers fired shots.

It unfolded over 15-20mins, from when police first came across the man – their vehicle was attacked – before negotiation, tactical options, before the man has "advanced on police and they have used firearms at that stage".

He was struck in the abdomen, chest and limbs.

The individual was known to police, Price confirmed.

"The last thing any police officer wants to do is to have to use firearms."

Price stressed that the two incidents were not connected.

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