A 34-year-old Indian-origin worker at the Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham, central Auckland, was fatally stabbed on Wednesday night.
It is reported that the store’s employee was running the dairy while the owners were on holiday in India.
Hundreds of shocked residents and neighbours gathered outside the store to pay tribute to the young man who was “recently married”. The family has been offered victim support by New Zealand Police.
Sunny Kaushal, president of the Dairy and Business Owners Group, spoke outside the dairy describing the death of the young man as “devastating”.:
“This happened to a young man, who’s in his prime life.”
Mr Kaushal is planning to set up a Givealittle for the family and is also set to hold a vigil at the office of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Speaking to the local media Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose constituency the dairy falls within, said the incident was an “absolute tragedy”.
In a Facebook post Ms Ardern observed:
“No one should fear their loved one going to work. To the family who today mourns their lost loved one – I am so sorry this has happened.”
Local residents reported that there were no community constables in the area “and that’s not the way to deal with community safety”.
Earlier, the local business owners even tried collectively hiring an overnight security guard, which didn’t go ahead due to a lack of funding.
New Zealand Police said in a statement they were called to the dairy at 8.05 pm, after a lone offender entered the store armed with a knife and took the cash register.
“We are still working to establish exactly what took place, but at some point during the incident the dairy worker was allegedly stabbed. He suffered critical injuries and was transported to hospital. Tragically he died a short time later.”
The Indian-origin worker suffered critical injuries and was taken to hospital where he tragically died a short time later.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard said that police have launched a murder investigation.
“This was a lone offender that went into the dairy and committed what we believe to be a robbery. We believe a till has been stolen.”
Police are looking for a man wearing a dark top, black cap, black trackpants with white writing down the left leg and a black-and-white bandanna on his face. They would like to hear from anyone who was in the area around the time of this incident, who may have seen something which could assist us in identifying and locating the offender.