Albany bus station homicide: Attacker still on the loose after bloody ...
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A 16-year-old has been arrested and charged with murder after a person was killed in an attack at Albany bus station yesterday.
A homicide investigation was launched yesterday after the victim, who was transported to Auckland Hospital in a critical condition, later died from their injuries.
The fatal Auckland bus station attack took place in front of stunned onlookers - the latest in a spate of violent incidents in the city.
The altercation at the Albany Park and Ride bus shelter happened about 12.50pm and left blood smeared across a glass window along the platform.
The major transport hub remained closed overnight as police continued their investigations.
Albany councillor John Watson said the incident at a busy location in broad daylight would unsettle many people, especially because the public transport network was considered safe.
“There is a general sense that things are cracking up in some quarters, and there are specific incidents like this that show that to be true,” he said. “When you get something like what happened today, that shakes people.”
Detective Inspector Callum McNeill said last night that police were following positive lines of inquiry in identifying the alleged attacker.
McNeill also stressed that the incident appeared to be isolated, saying: “We know the community will be understandably alarmed by what has occurred today.”
The attack took place in front of other commuters, and one other person received minor injuries. A visibly shocked young female witness was led away by police yesterday afternoon.
James Stock, a university student, said he arrived at the Park and Ride soon after the alleged attack took place and overheard a police officer describing it as a stabbing.
There appeared to be people receiving medical attention, possibly while lying on the ground, he said.
“There was some blood on the ground … near a crossing,” he said. “Medics and others seemed to be surrounding a few people, treating them.
“People were confused, just coming up and saying, ‘What is happening?’ I was just trying to get to uni - this is not what I expected.”
Police warned people to stay away from the area while they sought the alleged attacker. Police officers were guarding the scene overnight and commuters were redirected to adjoining roads to catch outgoing buses or get to their cars.
Forensic investigators centred their attention on an area next to a bus shelter, where blood appeared to be smeared on the glass. Blood stains could also be seen near a pedestrian crossing about five metres away.
Police also cordoned off an area outside a restaurant 150 metres away. A police officer at the scene said they could not say whether it was related to the bus station attack.
A shop owner nearby said they had been asked for CCTV of the car park outside the restaurant, and they believed the bus shelter attacker may have fled through the area.
Another worker in the area said they believed police were searching for a weapon from the original attack, possibly a knife. Officers were seen nearby looking into storm drains and in bushes.
National Party police spokesman Mark Mitchell, who was campaigning nearby when the attack took place, said it was a disturbing incident for commuters to witness.
“This is just happening way too much,” he said, noting that there had been a bus station attack involving a knife in Silverdale earlier in the year.
Around the same time as the Albany incident, police were called to Waterview after an incident left one person needing to be hospitalised. Police later arrested a person, and said those involved were known to each other.
Media reported the Waterview incident was another stabbing.
There have also been a series of aggravated robberies and attacks in the city in recent weeks, many of them in public spaces. Police are still seeking those responsible.
Four robberies carried out by a group of attackers, some armed with guns, hammers and crowbars, took place over three nights in Mt Albert and Pt Chevalier last week, including one in which a bar worker had a gun held to her head by intruders who forced her to her knees and demanded she open a time-delayed safe.
Police are still searching for those responsible for two separate homicides in August.
Dariush Talagi, 24, is wanted for arrest for the murder of Sione Tuuholoaki, 26, who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on Queen St.
Charles Pongi, a patched Headhunter, was shot at a Pt England park and later died from his injuries. One person was arrested after the attack, but no charges have been laid in relation to Pongi’s death.
Last week prominent Auckland businessman and Precinct Properties boss Scott Pritchard called for more police in downtown Auckland to address spiralling crime.