Dunedin stabbing: Supermarket staff return to scene of attack for blessing

Staff have gathered at the Countdown supermarket for a blessing following the devastating knife attack on Monday.

A large group gathered at the Countdown Dunedin Central site blessing just after 11am with several police officers also in attendance.

They paused briefly outside – some people bowing their heads – before walking slowly into the building.

This is the first time they have entered the Cumberland St supermarket; which has been closed since the attack that left four people injured.

Countdown spokeswoman Kiri Hannifin said: “This morning, the store has been blessed by a local kaumātua – which we know the whole team is very appreciative of.”

She said police had completed their investigations at the supermarket – but it was unclear when it would be reopened to the public.

Supermarket to remain closed until further notice

“We thank [police] for their support over the last few days,” she said.

“Our focus now is on helping make sure our team’s return to the store is as peaceful and as healing as it can be.”

Hannifin said they were also working to get the store back in order.

“We’ll reopen for our local customers when we feel we’re ready to do so.”

In an update this morning, the Southland District Health Board said the conditions of the patients remained the same, three were in a serious but stable condition, and one was in a moderate condition.

Police confirmed this morning they concluded examining the scene yesterday, which included taking photos, doing blood sampling, and collecting discarded items of interest.

A 42-year-old man appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday where his lawyer confirmed there were no formal mental-health reports sought.

The man, who was of no fixed abode according to court documents, faces four charges of attempted murder.

Counsel John Westgate entered no plea on behalf of his client and asked for name suppression to be granted until the next appearance before the High Court in June.

Judge Peter Rollo granted the order and remanded the man in custody.

The issue of name suppression would be revisited at the next hearing, the court heard.

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