24 Nov 2022

Fatal stabbing in Sandringham occurred 100m from dairy, police say

5:29 pm on 24 November 2022
The person police are seeking in connection with a homicide investigation underway in Sandringham.

Police believed the offender had left with the wheelie bin and continued walking towards Duncan Avenue. Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

The dairy worker who was fatally stabbed last night had an altercation with the offender as he was putting part of a cash register in a wheelie bin, police say.

Auckland City CIB Detective Inspector Scott Beard said after the robbery of the Rose Cottage Superette about 8pm the offender left the store with the cash register drawer and walked about 100 metres towards Duncan Avenue in Sandringham.

"He is seen on CCTV footage stopping at a household wheelie bin and placing the drawer inside.

"At this point the victim has approached him and an altercation has taken place, at which time the victim has received several stab wounds."

Police believed the offender had left with the wheelie bin and continued walking towards Duncan Avenue, Beard said.

"Our victim manages to get himself back to the superette where he was treated. Emergency services were called, he's taken to hospital and unfortunately he died not long after arriving in hospital," Beard told Checkpoint.

Police later located the wheelie bin on the corner of Haverstock and Duncan Avenue but the drawer of the till was not inside it, and the knife used in the attack had not yet been found, he said.

It was a slow process reviewing the CCTV footage, he said.

"So that's part of the ongoing investigation. But yes, all we know is that he walked down towards Duncan Ave that that wheelie bin was found down there."

Scott Beard briefs on fatal dairy stabbing in Sandringham

Detective Inspector Scott Beard heads the inquiry. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

The offender was wearing all dark clothing - black shoes, cap and a long-sleeved top.

He was also wearing black pants with white writing down the left leg, along with a black and white bandana across his face.

There was white writing on the cap and the pants which police believed was the word 'Raiders'.

"Police acknowledge the incident last night will have deeply shocked the wider community," Beard said.

"We want to reassure people we are working hard to identify the offender and hold him to account."

Police were supporting the victim's family and its ethnic liaison officers were working with community leaders.

Flowers laid at site of Sandringham dairy where worker fatally stabbed

Floral tributes for the victim outside the dairy. Photo: RNZ / Lucy Xia

People would continue to see an increased presence in the area as reassurance patrols, an area canvas and the scene examination continued.

We still need to hear from anyone who witnessed this incident take place or saw the offender on foot afterwards.

"We want to solve this, we've got a devastated family and community out there. You know if someone knows from the description who it is, please get in contact," Beard said.

Police also ask Sandringham residents to check their CCTV and dash cameras, leading up to and after the incident.

It was possible the offender was walking around the nearby area before the initial robbery took place.

Anyone with footage or information could contact police via 105 or online, using 'Update My Report' quoting file number 221123/3847.

Sandringham dairy should have qualified for fog cannon funding - Hipkins

Minister of Police Chris Hipkins wanted to know why the dairy did not get the fog cannon it asked for.

The owner was turned down twice and the local neighbourhood support group says the shop has a 15-year history of violence and theft.

Funding for fog cannons has been available since 2017.

Hipkins told Checkpoint it was possible more could have been done that could have prevented the attack.

"One of the things that I have asked for explanation about when I look at this business, this particular business is why they didn't have a fog cannon because we know from evidence fog cannons can make a difference in situations like this.

"It's still not clear to me at this point why they weren't able to access one [a fog cannon].

Over 1000 subsidised fog cannons have been installed in small businesses over the last two years and from what he had seen so far this business should have been eligible, Hipkins said.

"So I don't know why that hasn't happened and that is certainly something that I'd like to have an explanation about."

It should not be hard for small businesses to get help, Hipkins said.

The minister said he would reserve his judgement regarding whether something had gone wrong until he had further information.

Hipkins said he was talking with police about how to get faster to install security measures such as fog cannons into small businesses more quickly.

There were thousands of businesses across New Zealand and some criteria needed to be met to get subsidised security, he said.

"But based on what I've seen of this business, early indications suggest that it should have met those criteria."

Businesses should continue to work with the police on security issues and not take matters into their own hands as that was an even riskier option, Hipkins said.

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