16 Mar 2012

Police shoot man after double stabbing

7:43 am on 16 March 2012

s] Police investigating Thursday morning's stabbings and a shooting by police in Christchurch say the assailant was from the Somali community and they have been talking to his family.

Police investigating Thursday morning's stabbings and a shooting by police in Christchurch say the assailant was from the Somali community and they have been talking to his family.

They say they are trying to determine whether the man, 27, was suffering from mental illness or under the influence of drugs.

The assailant was shot in the wrist and shoulder by police and is in hospital, under guard.

Assistant police commissioner for the South Island Dave Cliff says pepper spray and a taser failed to stop the man so the police had no choice but to use a firearm.

The drama began when a man kidnapped a delivery woman at Redwood Primary School at about 7am on Thursday, forcing her to drive him in her truck.

Police say the man stabbed her when she confronted him on Hoon Hay Road. She has since been discharged from hospital.

A Christchurch City Council employee then confronted the man, who was banging on the windows of cars that had pulled up at the lights at the corner of Hoon Hay and Halswell roads. He was stabbed repeatedly, and remains in a critical but stable condition.

Emergency services were alerted at 8.05am.

The injured woman, who received a stab wound to her shoulder, was likely to be discharged from hospital later on Thursday.

Assistant Commissioner Cliff has praised the officers who responded to the stabbing incident saying they acted correctly and courageously in an extremely dangerous situation.

He says a criminal investigation is under way as well as an internal police inquiry and he Independent Police Conduct Authority has been informed.

Eyewitness account

An eye witness to the stabbing and police shooting says he heard police telling a man to drop his knife, followed by at least two gunshots.

The witness Jacob Lim says he saw the assailant and one of his victims fighting inside a car that had crashed into a wall near the intersection of Hoon Hay and Halswell roads.

He says the pair got out of the vehicle and the knife wielding man began confronting other motorists.

A St John Ambulance spokesperson says three ambulances and two rapid response vehicles were sent to the incident.

Meanwhile, Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said the council staff member who was stabbed in the incident was on his way to a work engagement.

He said the long-serving employee is much liked and respected by his colleagues.

School staff terrorised

The principal of Redwood Primary School says a caretaker and female teacher were forced to flee a classroom they were hiding in after a man brandishing a knife, broke windows trying to get to them.

Principal John Stackhouse says he was at home when he received a phone call from the female staff member and the school's caretaker, who had locked themselves in a classroom shortly after 7am Thursday morning.

Mr Stackhouse says a man, who had been found earlier lying on the school's grounds, had returned to the property and threatened the caretaker pulling a knife on him.

He says the caretaker and staff member barricaded themselves in a classroom but escaped through another door when the man began smashing windows.

He says the man was shouting: ``There won't be any school today.''

Mr Stackhouse says both staff members were unharmed but found it traumatic.