NZ police acknowledge sentencing in Dunedin Countdown attack

Police acknowledge the sentencing of Luke Lambert, following the attack at a Countdown supermarket in Dunedin last year.

Lambert, 43, was sentenced today to 13 years in prison for four counts of attempted murder.

The afternoon of 10 May last year was hugely distressing for those at Dunedin’s Central City Countdown supermarket.

This was a hugely confronting incident for everyone involved.

“I’d like to recognise the Countdown staff who first intervened and were the initial victims. Members of the public then came to assist, restraining the offender and providing aid and comfort to the injured,” Southern District Commander Superintendent Paul Basham says.

“They all went above and beyond in what was an extremely fast-moving situation,” Superintendent Basham says.

The proximity of Dunedin Central Police Station (right next door to the supermarket) allowed for an extremely rapid response from Police and ultimately the swift apprehension of the attacker.

It is the actions of Countdown staff and a number of brave members of the public who directly contributed to helping stop the attack and assist the injured victims until emergency service help arrived.

Two Dunedin police officers, one who was off duty, who just so happened to be in the supermarket at the time, also contributed to stopping the attacker and bringing this terrifying incident to an abrupt end.

“I am extremely proud of the efforts of everyone who helped to de-escalate the situation and minimise any further harm,” Superintendent Basham says.

The impact of last year’s brutal knife attack in our Dunedin Central Store has been felt deeply by our team across New Zealand, but most keenly in Dunedin. We are relieved the legal process is now concluded, Countdown’s Director of Health and Safety Kiri Hannifin says.

“We hope today’s sentencing provides some comfort for our Dunedin team as they continue to work through the ongoing impact of what was an incredibly traumatic event for them. We will continue to support them as they do this.”

“We remain deeply grateful to the Dunedin Police and to the local St John Ambulance service for their quick actions on the day of this horrible event, and for their ongoing support and care since,” Hannifin says.

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