A person is dead and a homicide investigation has been launched following an incident in Albany on Monday afternoon.
Police were earlier urging the public to stay away from Auckland's Albany Bus Station as they responded to an incident. Auckland Transport (AT) said an altercation broke out between members of the public, resulting in two people being injured.
Waitematā CIB Detective Inspector Callum McNeill said one person was transported to Auckland Hospital in a critical condition.
"They have since died as a result of their injuries and a homicide investigation was subsequently launched." The second person received a minor injury, police said earlier.
Officers were called to the scene just before 1pm on Monday. By the time RNZ arrived soon afterwards, there were already dozens - some in hazmat suits. Shoes could be seen strewn across the pavement, people having fled the scene in a hurry.
A witness described seeing blood splattered across the ground and windows. Brett Napier had just got off the bus from the city when he came across the scene.
"I saw a whole lot of blood on the opposite side that had been smeared. When I looked on the inside, the counter where the staff would normally be, that was closed and there was a trail of blood from there, across the floor."
Diedre Oelofse had planned to bus home from the station and said the incident was "a massive shock".
"What the hell is happening? I think when you see the things and all the police vehicles, you expect the worst."
Another witness arrived soon after the incident. She told RNZ's Checkpoint there were "hundreds of cops, just everywhere". Buses were still arriving, not having yet been diverted.
"I got off the bus and there was just a man having CPR performed on him. Blood was just eveywhere, It was really, really surreal... There were definitely a lot of young uni students, because all the unis were back today... crying, really upset."
Police asked the public to follow instructions from emergency services and avoid the area where possible.
Inquiries were underway to locate the person responsible. Police said it appeared to be an isolated incident.
"Police are currently following positive lines of enquiry to identify the person responsible and hold them to account," McNeill said.
"The public can expect to see an increased police presence in the area while further enquiries are carried out. A scene guard is in place at the bus station this afternoon, which will likely remain in place overnight."
He said there were likely to be delays on public transport that passed through the station. Buses were diverted to alternate bus stops on Don McKinnon Drive, with details on the Auckland Transport (AT) website.
Due to a serious incident at Albany Park and Ride Bus, Platform B and surrounding areas are cordoned off by emergency responders.— Auckland Transport Travel Alerts (@AT_TravelAlerts) September 18, 2023
Please follow directions by the emergency service responders.
More updates to follow. pic.twitter.com/q7cjHwz2NA
AT's Stacey van der Putten said the attack would have been a shock to passengers and staff.
"Events like this afternoon's attack are a very rare occurrence across our AT Metro network... Our teams are fully supporting police as they begin their investigations today and we are asking passengers for their patience while Albany Bus Station is closed and detours are in place."
The agency was looking into how it could increase security at large stations like Albany, van der Putten said.
National MP Mark Mitchell was nearby, and told Checkpoint he went to the bus station to offer rides home - whether it was to the city or Whangaparāoa. He placed the blame on the government.
"Sadly I've heard from some students at one of the local schools who are now talking with staff and teachers, a lot of anxiety around coming out and getting on a bus after what they've just seen... at their local bus station. This is happening too often - I've had the same problems up at my own Silverdale bus station with too much violence, robberies, things like that happening.
"A lot of knife crime's starting to emerge, totally unacceptable and we've seen it way too much. And the reason for that is under this current government, there's been a very permissive environment created where we see youth and juvenile offending going through the roof, where we see adult gangs growing in large numbers and lots of this violence happening around the country."
Auckland Councillor John Watson said the attack was unusual for the area.
"It's obviously disturbing for people travelling on what is a really busy public transport system down the northern busway, one that's been really successful and well-patronised and people usually feel very safe on."
Police said they would like to hear from anyone on 105 with information, referencing file number 230918/6677.
"Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111," McNeill added.