A Goan couple who had migrated to New Zealand have been stabbed and killed on Friday at their house in Epsom, Central Auckland while their son who was also stabbed is fighting for his life in hospital.
Police were called on reports of a stabbing at about 11.30 am, where two people were found with critical injuries. Although immediate first aid was given the couple succumb to their injuries. Their engineering graduate son was also found stabbed and was taken to hospital with critical injuries, and is having surgery. A fourth person who is believed to be a passer-by who tried to intervene was taken to hospital with superficial injuries.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard said the police had launched a homicide investigation on the tragic incident. He said it appeared those involved were known to each other and officers were not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident. Beard said it looked as though the stabbing happened inside the house where emergency services were called, and it was not a random attack.
“We acknowledge that today’s tragic incident will be concerning to the wider community. While the investigation is still in its early stages, we want to reassure the public that at this early stage we are not seeking anyone else in relation to this matter, and we do not believe there is any wider risk to the community” said Beard.
A strong police presence remained at the scene on Friday afternoon and the post-mortem examinations of the two people who died will take place on Saturday.
According to Gupta who lives next door, she was friends with the dead woman, who was a good lady and helpful. The dead woman worked at the University of Auckland while her husband worked at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. The couple immigrated to New Zealand from Goa and moved into the block of flats in 2007 because it was in the zone for Auckland Grammar where their son attended. Their son had graduated from Massey University engineering school and started his career.
Gupta said “They are Christian, they used to go to church. They were very God-fearing. They were very humble sort of people. They were very helpful as well. They used to look after our property when we’re not there. To be honest it’s shocking. I cannot see any reason why they would kill them. It’s just beyond my thinking.”
The shocking tragedy has left the residents of the neighborhood shocked and frightened. “I can’t believe it actually, especially in Epsom. It’s just crazy” said one of the neighbors. Another neighbor, Audrey Zhao, said she was relieved her kids, aged 6 and 9, were with her. “Today is a teacher-only day, which is so lucky. I’m definitely nervous because it’s so close to us.”
Epsom MP David Seymour said the incident was shocking and tragic for the community. “It is important that the police are able to do their job and the privacy of people connected with the incident is respected. There will no doubt be a lot of questions, and our community will want and deserve to know how and why this happened. In the meantime we need to respect the appropriate processes” he said.
So far in 2021, at least 16 people have died in suspicious or homicidal circumstances in New Zealand while last year the total was 69. On average there are 67 homicides in New Zealand each year. The rate of 1.6 homicides per 100,000 people is above the OECD median of 0.95 per 100,000.