A Hastings man was enjoying his first night in a new flat when gang members jumped the fence and plunged an axe into his chest.
A resident of the Riverslea Rd address, described Wednesday night's attack as "horrific".
"It's something you hear about but never witness. Everyone is so scared about being alone. We are all going to take time to recover."
They were having drinks, celebrating their new flatmate moving in and "catching up like every other Wednesday" when two gang members walked past and "asked how our night was".
"My friend said her night was good and they turned around to her and said 'don't talk to me bitch'. Then our good mate said 'that's not nice'."
She said they jumped the fence and said "wanna fight?".
"There was no chance of being civil with them. They were out to hurt someone."
"My partner walked inside and I walked in front of him to protect him because they were trying to hit him.
"I tried pushing him away put he didn't even acknowledge me. Next thing they are all fighting and the Mob member swung the axe from behind and straight into [the flatmate's] chest.
"He was there for all of five hours before he got axed in the chest."
A police spokesman said they needed to speak to "a number" of victims and witnesses.
Police guarded the property overnight and forensically examined it yesterday.
A Hawke's Bay District Health Board spokeswoman said a man in his early 20s, was transferred to Wellington Hospital in a stable condition yesterday.
A second man admitted to Hawke's Bay Hospital was discharged yesterday.
The resident said the new flatmate suffered two broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a cut to his heart in the attack.
Three other flatmates were planning to move out.
"No one feels safe there. We haven't returned except for when we need to collect our stuff to stay with family members."