Pamela Goddard, 75, saw people running out of the Countdown supermarket and said she spoke to one woman who claimed to have seen the knifeman attack his first victim
Image: Pamela Goddard)
A British expat has told how she witnessed survivors “physically shaking” as they fled from the New Zealand terror attack.
Pamela Goddard, 75, saw people running out of the Countdown supermarket when she arrived to do her shopping.
The retired teacher spoke to one woman who claimed to have seen the knifeman attack his first victim.
Pamela, who emigrated to New Zealand around 45 years ago, said: “I saw people rushing out very fast and I thought there was a fire.
“Then a lady told me she had been in the supermarket and saw the man stab somebody a few feet away from her in the aisle.
“She was an older lady on her own and was very shaken. I could see her hands were physically shaking from the shock.
“Another lady, a checkout operator, came out and she was bending over and breathing very heavily. She was clearly in shock.”
Pamela says locals are concerned at how the terrorist was able to injure so many people despite being followed by police.
She feels lucky to have avoided being caught up in the carnage.
Pamela lives on the coast in Cornwallis, which is located around 30 minutes from the store in Auckland.
She added: “It’s very strange because I would have been in there when it happened.
“But I was delayed by a neighbour who called in to see me and I got held up for 10 minutes.
“I owe them my thanks.”
Six people were wounded in the attack at the New Lynn shopping mall, with three victims left fighting for their lives in hospital.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a press conference the attack was ‘ISIS inspired’ and was motivated by ‘violent ideology.’
She described the attack as the actions of a ‘lone wolf,’ adding: “It was hateful, it was wrong. It was carried out by an individual, not a faith”.
The 32-year-old was already under 24/7 surveillance and officers tailing him thought he had gone into the supermarket to do some shopping when he suddenly launched an attack.
Officers shot and killed the man within 60 seconds of the violent rampage beginning, police said.
Ms Ardern confirmed the attacker had previously been under surveillance by police and had been known to the authorities since 2016.
The attacker was a Sri Lankan national who had arrived in the country in 2011, she said.
He had been “monitored constantly” and had been being watched for about the past five years, Ms Ardern said.
While he has not been formally identified, the attacker, dubbed ‘S’, is reported to be a 32-year-old man who had been considered a threat to public safety after twice buying large hunting knives and possessing Islamic State videos.