The hostage taking in the Westfield yesterday ended with the knife wielding perpetrator dropping his knife after approximately 45 minutes of talk-down by the Police. From what I have heard, the police did a very good job. The showed patience, pointed out the alternatives in a caring way, and prevented a homicide.
The headlines don’t even mention this which is a bit disappointing. We should remember that these events don’t always end well. Thank you NZ Police!
Let us also remember that an increase in handguns in NZ would be disastrous. Imagine if this situation involved a gun. How much more terrifying would that be? A knife is deadly enough for the hostage, but a hand gun would give the hostage-taker an ability to shoot at Police and bystanders. Because of this, the Police would have a more difficult time getting close and talking.
Thank you NZ for your gun control.
“Hostage situation at Auckland mall was a random attack, police say
Nicole Lawton, Melanie Earley, Christopher Harrowell and Imogen Neale14:01, Nov 09 2018
A woman has escaped unharmed after an armed stranger grabbed her and held her hostage in an Auckland shopping mall for 90 minutes.
Video from the scene showed police surrounding an agitated man, who held what police believe to be a five-inch blade to the neck of a woman in the Westfield Manukau City Shopping Centre.
Police have arrested and charged a 30-year-old man with kidnapping in relation to the incident.
Further footage showed officers outside the building closing in on the incident, near the Burger King in the food court, just after 9.00am on Friday.
The assailant had an arm around the woman’s throat and was holding the knife to her neck with his other hand.
The hostage was crying.
Counties Manukau Area Commander Inspector Adam Pyne confirmed the 34-year-old victim was unknown to the offender.
“This was a very distressing incident for the victim and extremely hard for her.”
The woman was from Christchurch and had been at the shopping mall with her teenage daughter, Pyne said.
“We’re offering the victim all the support we can and she was extremely brave and managed to remain calm.”
Pyne said no threats were made by the man.
Police staff negotiated with the offender for approximately 40 minutes before he dropped his knife on the ground and released the victim.
The offender was immediately apprehended and taken into custody without further incident, Pyne said.
A woman who took footage from outside the building, said the man had already taken the woman hostage when she arrived at 8.55am.
Man holds knife to a woman’s throat at Westfield Manukau
“When I first saw what was happening, I thought ‘this is a sick joke, a guy wanting attention’.
“I started taking it serious when I could see the woman crying and her daughter was watching everything next to me.”
She said the daughter was crying also.
“I was just hoping the woman didn’t get hurt.”
A food court worker said it all unfolded when a middle aged man entered the food court in an agitated, apparently drunk and disorientated state.
She said his behaviour caught security’s eye and they started to move in on him – clearing shoppers from the food court area.
He then reached into his clothing, she said, allegedly pulling out a knife before holding it to the neck of a woman queuing for food at Burger King.
Burger King staff confirmed the woman had been standing in their queue when it happened.
The food court worker said the woman had her back to the man, so she didn’t see what was happening before he grabbed her.
The incident happened at theWestfield Manukau City Shopping Centre after 9am on Friday.
Security then cleared everyone from the area.
A shop assistant said the entire mall was evacuated at 9am.
Large groups of evacuated people and bystanders were crowded outside the mall at 10.30am, and vehicles were being turned away from the scene.
The incident had been resolved by 10am. Police said the man was in custody and the woman uninjured.
Jacque Jonson, Westfield Manukau acting centre manager, said the shopping mall was reopened and trading again around midday.
“The centre was closed briefly to allow police to manage the incident and ensure the safety of customers and staff.
“No one was injured. We are continuing to work with police and assist with their inquiries,” Jonson said.
The manager of Burger King, however, said the staff who had been working at the time had since been sent home.
The man will appear in Manukau District Court, Pyne said it was too early to tell whether he was under the effects of drugs or alcohol.
Pyne could not say if the man was known to police as the matter was before the courts.”
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