Shopper reflects on filming Auckland mall terrorist attack aftermath

A woman who received backlash for filming moments after shoppers were stabbed at Auckland’s LynnMall on Friday has explained why she did it.

Speaking to media for the first time, the mother of three explained the split-second decision she made to pull out her phone and record what was unfolding at her local supermarket.

“These days what do people do? When they see stupid things happen, first thing they do is they pull out their phone and they start recording. Yes I am one of those people,” she said.

The woman, who the Herald has agreed not to name, was waiting to buy groceries at the New Lynn Countdown at the time of the terrorist attack.She captured the aftermath and uploaded it to social media.

Her intention was to film the offender leaving the supermarket on her phone as “proof”. she told the Herald, and to warn people what was happening.

“It wasn’t [with] a bad intention. It was like; this is what’s happening where I am. I’m going shopping, and I go shopping and look at this s*** that’s happening.”

The New Lynn resident was listening to the Bee Gees while waiting in line at the checkout when she noticed people running out of the aisles, looking panicked.

“People [were] running away from the area I just came from, and they looked pretty frightened and disturbed,” she said.

She followed them of the supermarket and stood in the mall, leaving her groceries at the checkout.

“I saw a man come out … and I heard him talk to someone and say: ‘I just seen him stab somebody’.

“That’s when it became apparent to me that somebody had been hurt.

“I instantly reacted and then decided, I’m gonna record this s***.What if [the terrorist] comes running out here? At least I can get something that’s proof.

“That was the reason why I started recording,” she said.

After she pressed record, she noticed a young woman leave the supermarket slowly.

“I thought she had a bleeding nose because she sort of bent down. She went to put her hand over her mouth and that’s when I saw the blood dripping,” she said.

“A man came out and said: ‘She’s been stabbed’, and pointed, then I realised.She walked straight past me while the blood was dripping.

“She was pretty fricken brave to just casually walk out like that…she didn’t even ask anyone for any help.”

“She’d obviously been stabbed on the arm or the side.”

A man ran to see if the woman was okay, the shopper recalls.

She decided to stay near the checkouts in case the offender ran out and she could capture their exit on camera.

But he never did.

Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen, a refugee who had recently been released from prison, was shot dead by police after he used a knife from the supermarket to stab seven shoppers in what the Government has described as a terrorist attack.

Three victims remain in Auckland Hospital in a stable condition, while four are recovering at home.

The woman’s video captures a man, who had been standing at the checkouts, suddenly collapse on the floor. It is unclear why he collapsed.

She said she did not notice the man at that time.

“I basically captured something I didn’t even see with my own eyes because I was too busy looking out.

“It I wasn’t until I looked at the footage, I saw he was standing there the whole time.

“I feel pretty damn stink that I didn’t even pounce on trying to help him because I was too busy recording.

“I’ve had to look back at what I didn’t do to help.

“I don’t think I really did a hell of a lot of help, all I did was record. That was basically my focus, not realising there was actually someone in the mall, who I captured, that wasn’t even in a good way.”

After the woman heard gunshots, she left the mall.

“I just knew … whoever is shooting it, will possibly shoot at anybody.

“I thought, man I haven’t got time to die today because I have children waiting for me at home to bring something back for them.”

As she walked out of the mall she saw another woman drop her groceries on the ground.

“She looked down, she knew she couldn’t’ pick it up. It wasn’t a good idea for her to pick it up because there were people from behind us who were also trying to exit at the same time.”

Outside people were getting into their cars and leaving while others were standing at the entrance, looking confused.

The woman said she “sounded the alarm” and told bystanders there was a man with a knife and they shouldn’t go back inside.

Then she drove “straight home” to her three children. While at home she heard sirens and a helicopter.

Six people were rushed to hospital with stab wounds.

The New Lynn resident said the video has been provided to police as part of their investigation.

“If anyone wants to question, why, why why, I just did it because it’s just what we do. That’s what people do.

“I reacted the way I did. It might not have been a good way, but it also alarmed everybody in all of Auckland.

“I’m always recording, wherever I go. It’s part of my lifestyle.”

The woman said she feels lucky to be alive and back with her children, but saddened the attack happened at a supermarket she used to visit almost every day.

“That’s a place where we all go where we’re supposed to feel safe.

“I really feel heavy-hearted for everyone that was there and was involved in it. My sadness is not just for me, but for everyone.”

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