On Saturday, a High Court judge lifted a ban on the attacker’s identity disclosure and his name was made public. The assailant was Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen, born in Sri Lanka. There had been plans to deport him, local media reported, saying that immigration officials have sought to revoke his status, but he appealed.
A total of seven people were wounded in the supermarket stabbing spree on Friday, three of whom are in critical condition. One victim is in serious condition and another in moderate condition, Reuters reported on Saturday citing an ambulance service. The remaining two are recovering at home, officials said, while also releasing the ages of the people who suffered from the attacker: three men aged 53, 57 and 77 and four women, 29, 43, 60 and 66 years old. While it was initially believed that the attacker managed to physically hurt six people, police later learned of one more person who had received a minor injury and hadn’t been hospitalized.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Police Commissioner Andrew Coster tried to explain how the 32-year old man under heavy surveillance managed to get hold of a deadly weapon and launch his attack before being shot dead by police who had been closely following him for nearly two months.
“This was a highly motivated individual who used a supermarket visit as a shield for an attack,” Ardern said, adding that the incident was “an incredibly tough set of circumstances.”