Police have not confirmed whether the 21-year-old man they shot dead in a central Auckland park last night had a weapon on him.
They say David Cerven - who was being sought for three robberies - claimed to be armed at Myers Park and, after 20 minutes of negotiating, he was fatally shot.
Three investigations are underway and Interpol has also alerted the man's family.
Deborah Wang said a man robbed her of $400 at Thirsty Liquor in Glenfield on Wednesday night. She identified him as the man in the photo that police released on Sunday of Mr Cerven.
Mrs Wang was working alone at the liquor store and said at first she thought the man was just lost.
"He waved the knife to me after he grabbed all the money," she said.
"So I actually tell him, I said, 'Hey, be careful with the knife... because I thought... don't wave it, you know, don't cut me'... I was not very nervous at that time."
Mrs Wang said she ran out after him but he fled down a dark side street. She looked at the CCTV footage and then alerted the police.
Three days later, in the same suburb, Harbour City Liquor was also robbed.
Jung Kun Ahn was the duty manager working at the time, and said he did not think the robber was going to hurt him, even though he had a big knife.
The Pinewood Dairy on East Coast Road was also allegedly robbed by Mr Cerven, on Saturday night.
A woman there this morning did not want to be named but said her husband was working on the night and nothing was taken.
The Auckland City District Commander, Superintendent Richard Chambers, said it would be some time before police would be able to discuss many aspects of the case.
He said police were liaising with Mr Cerven's family in Slovakia through the Slovakian Consul in Auckland and the Slovakian Embassy in Canberra.
Mr Cerven had been in New Zealand since 20 March and was in the country on a 12-month working holiday visa.
How events unfolded
- David Cerven calls 111 at 7.23pm saying he is in Myers Park
- He is located and tells officers from a distance that he is armed
- Unarmed police officers retreat and request armed officers
- Police say negotiations fail and they fire an unknown number of shots at 7.45pm when David Cerven indicates he is going to use a gun
- Police cannot revive the 21-year-old and he dies at the scene
- The incident was recorded on CCTV cameras
- Three investigations are underway