2 Jul 2015

Police: Tragic family-related incident

5:30 pm on 2 July 2015

Police in Wellington are describing last night's mass stabbings as a tragic family-related incident.

They have arrested a 25-year-old woman following the death of a 67-year-old man and the stabbing of four others in the suburb of Johnsonville.

Four of the victims, including the dead person, are family members; the fifth victim is a neighbour.

The police said the woman remained in hospital with dog bite wounds following her arrest last night.

Two of the victims have been discharged from hospital while a nine-year-old boy and a 45-year old-woman remain in a stable condition in Wellington Hospital.

Family known to woman in custody

The incident centred on a property on the corner of Broderick Road and Old Coach Road in Johnsonville just before 9pm on Wednesday night.

Police said they were called by a woman from the house, and found four people with stab wounds including the 67-year-old man who died shortly after they arrived.

A fifth person in a neighbouring house was also found to have stab wounds.

The family was known to the woman in custody.

Police erect a forensic tent at the cordon down Broderick Crescent.

Scene examinations were being carried out in Johnsonville this morning. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

When police arrived, they were flagged down by a neighbour, who alerted them to a woman in the street. Officers apprehended her shortly afterwards with the help of a police dog.

The nine-year-old boy and the 45-year-old neighbour received moderate injuries.

A 42-year-old woman and a 64-year-old woman received less serious injuries, and have since been discharged, but are receiving support from family members, victim support and police.

A knife has been recovered from the scene.

Detective Senior Sergeant John van den Heuvel said they were still investigating what led to the stabbings.

"It's a tragic event that occurred within the confines of family, and the purpose of the investigation is to be thorough and to determine exactly the circumstances that led to this happening."

Mr van den Heuvel said no charges had yet been laid.

Outside the cordon a resident talks to police.

A member of the public talks to police on Broderick Road. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Police moving the forensic tent in the cordon down Broderick Cresent.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Police said they were not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

Part of the road had been cordoned off and security guards had been in place since last night.

Residents were allowed past the cordon but they were being questioned by police.

The Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) was at the house and scene examinations were being carried out this morning.

Neighbours concerned

The incident has worried neighbours.

In 2011, Matthew Hall was killed in his flat on the same road. Nishan de Alwis now lives in that flat. He said this latest homicide was scary.

"This area, particularly where I'm living, is still a peaceful area but after this particular scene, we need to think twice."

Gisa Berry lives around the corner from the crime scene. She was working the night shift and got home about 8am; she said she was shocked by what had happened.

"It's a good neighbourhood. It's beautiful. No problem and no issues here."

Police said it was an isolated incident and the community had no reason to fear.

Detective Senior Sergeant John van den Heuvel at today's press conference in Wellington.

Detective Senior Sergeant John van den Heuvel at today's press conference in Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

More police arrive at the scene of the Johnsonville homicide.

More police arrive at the scene of the stabbings in Johnsonville. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Gillies