A Fiery and Devastating Couple of Weeks for Countdown

Countdown has been a feature in the news the last couple of weeks, first with a fire in the chip aisle of a store in West Auckland, and then with the horrific stabbing at Countdown Cumberland St in Dunedin.

Shortly before 8.30pm on the 6th of May, police were called to the scene of a fire that started in the chip aisle at the Countdown in West City Shopping Centre. A 19-year-old man has been charged with arson and shoplifting in relation to the incident.

In Dunedin, a man has been charged with four counts of attempted murder in relation to the horrific stabbing incident that took place on May 10. Police have confirmed that the 42-year-old was released from hospital on the night of the attack and taken to Dunedin Central Police Station.

Five people were injured in the attack with four people remaining in Dunedin Hospital. Three of the victims, who suffered critical injuries, are now in a serious but stable condition, police said. A fourth person is now in moderate condition.

Police and emergency services rushed to Countdown Dunedin Central, on Cumberland St, after reports of multiple stabbings at about 2.35pm on the 10th of May.

Southern police district commander Paul Basham praised the actions of those who intervened in the attack, calling their actions "nothing short of heroic".

"While we are satisfied that we have the person responsible in our custody, we are in the very early stages of our investigation into the circumstances,” said Basham.

"This includes understanding the motivation for this attack which will be a key component of the investigation. However, in the face of what we currently know, we believe this was a random attack. The actions of those who tried to detain the alleged offender while they waited for police to arrive was "nothing short of heroic.”

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said the incident was not something he would expect to unfold in his city.

"Everyone should feel safe in their place of work or going about everyday tasks like grocery shopping. These sorts of events are particularly chilling because it could have been any of us or our friends or family - it's a busy location in the centre of the city."