Liquor store stabbing: Owner stabbed with double-bladed knife

By Regan Schoultz, Vaimoana Tapaleao

A group of men who stabbed the owner of a liquor store in South Auckland were wielding double-bladed knives.

Maninderpreet Kaur and her husband, owner Sarabjit were closing up for the day when three young men approached the Sharland Liquor Centre, in Manurewa, shortly before 10pm.

"My husband was going outside and he was near the door and he saw these guys [with] knives.

"When he saw them, he started screaming. And when he started screaming, I started screaming."

One of the men stayed outside, while the other two stormed the store brandishing knives.

"Both sides of the knife were sharp.

"On a kitchen knife -- one side is sharp and the other side is not. But these [knives], both sides were sharp," Mrs Kaur said.

One of the men stabbed her husband in the back while another went around the store picking up bottles.

They demanded she give them money, but she froze in shock, she said.

At one point, her husband was hit repeatedly with a bottle by one of the men.

"My husband was shouting and screaming."

Video

As the men made to get away, Mr Singh -- now covered in blood -- attempted to get up.

"When he was stabbed, he's asking me still: 'Are you alright'?

"He was very brave. When they stabbed him, he fell to the ground. But he tried to run after them."

Mrs Kaur said friends and family had rallied to support their family, which includes their three sons aged 10, 12 and 13.

She wanted to thank members of the public who came to her husband's aid and ultimately led to the group running off.

Mr Singh, who had surgery today, is now in a stable condition in hospital.

Witnesses described noise which sounded like fighting and seeing a youth with a knife standing over a man.

Nina Emelio, 44, was having a barbecue on her deck across the road from the liquor store when her and her family and friends saw the men jump out of a car and make their way towards the liquor store.

She said they were carrying knives and their faces were covered by what looked like balaclavas. Only their eyes were showing.

"So we knew straight away that there was going to be a robbery. So I stood up and yelled out to them to stop as loud as I could and everyone else joined in to yell out to distract them."

Ms Emelio did not see anyone get stabbed but said the man had lacerations on his back, head and arm. She applied pressure to the wounds to limit the bleeding.

"He was speaking his language but then he went quiet, but I was talking to him to keep him conscious and awake - making sure he didn't fall asleep."

She said she was focused on making sure the man was OK, and comforting his wife who was "very much in shock".

Ms Emelio said it was not long before police and ambulance arrived at the scene. "They got here pretty quickly."

But by the time the emergency services had arrived, the offenders were "long gone", Ms Emelio said. She said it all happened quickly.

"I think anyone would have that natural reaction - if you see that, you go over to help. Because we had to, we couldn't just sit here and watch them suffer."

At 9.50pm three male youths confronted the owner of a Sharland Liquor Centre store in the car park outside his store on Sharland Ave, Manurewa. They then chased him with knives and stabbed him in the back.

A small amount of liquor was taken from the store.

The offenders fled the scene after local residents, who heard the commotion, came to assist. The men threw bottles of alcohol at them before leaving in a vehicle.

Police said it appeared the locals may have diverted the attention of the offenders away from the shop owner.

A 19-year-old man has been located and he is now being spoken to by Police.
He is expected to appear in Manukau District Court today.

Police are still searching for two other offenders.

The victim was taken to Middlemore Hospital yesterday with moderate injuries. He is now recovering and is in a stable condition.

Two doors down, Lisiate Grewe was watching television with his wife, daughter and three grandkids.

The 60-year-old church pastor said he heard what sounded like fighting and ran out onto his deck to see what was happening.

He said he could see a man lying on the ground in the car park outside the store and another man standing over him with what looked like a knife.

In his loudest voice, Mr Grewe shouted: "Hey. Stop it. Get away."

"Because I knew that he had stabbed the man."

He said two other men then quickly left the store and the three offenders ran towards a car parked across the road from Mr Grewe's house.

Mr Grewe said neighbours, having heard the yelling, converged on the store.

He said the three offenders were teenagers, between 17 and 20 years old.

One neighbour was throwing bottles at them to scare them away and protect the liquor store owner, Mr Grewe said.

He said the getaway car was a grey station wagon.

The offenders were arguing amongst themselves before zooming off, Mr Grewe said.

He said while he did not know the victim too well, he was a friendly man who was always kind to his kids and grandkids.

Mr Grewe said he was just waiting for the liquor store to be robbed one day.

This morning, police cordoned off the liquor store.

Nearby shop owners had already left when the incident occurred last night, one man standing outside the store said, but he said the fellow shop owners returned straight away when they heard what happened.

A friend of the injured liquor store owner, who did not want to be named, said the man was still in hospital and his wife was with him.

CCTV footage of the robbery and attack, supplied to TVNZ, shows the store owner being stabbed and chased by the teenage offenders.

One of men chases the store owner, stabbing at him with an object. He falls to the ground but gets back up again and approaches the teenagers, running back towards his store.

By now some neighbours are aware of the commotion and can be seen running across the road to help.

Again the store owner falls to the ground while backing away from an offender

The teenager stands over him and has his arm raised when a neighbour from across the road runs directly at him.

The offender hesitates then runs, as the neighbour throws a bottle at him.

The two other offenders then exit the store and run, but are chased by neighbours and the store owner - who is now back on his feet. The store owner has a bottle thrown at him by a retreating offender, and so does one of the neighbours.

Later the store owner can be seen walking slowly back to his store, holding his side and assessing his wounds. Blood can be seen on the back of his shirt.

He is helped to the ground as more neighbours and the police show up.

He is later helped into an ambulance while holding a shirt or bandage to his head.

- NZ Herald

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