Sandringham homicide: ‘The worst has happened’ – manhunt under way as community left shocked


An offender is still on the run after a shopkeeper was allegedly stabbed following an aggravated robbery in Sandringham on Wednesday evening. Video / Hayden Woodward

A manhunt is under way this morning after a shopkeeper was fatally stabbed during an armed robbery, with fellow dairy owners calling it their worst nightmare and a community left shocked.

Sandringham’s Rose Cottage Suprette (Pink Dairy) at the intersection of Haverstock Rd and Fowlds Ave was targetted by a knife-wielding thief last night.

A worker filling in for the business owners away on an overseas trip was fatally stabbed in the incident.

The local community are in shock, reacting with heartfelt comments on social media posts.

One of the residents had talked with the worker hours before the attack.

“My heart goes out to the much-loved family who owns the business. Kind and hard-working, I can only imagine the sadness they feel,” the person said in a post.

The Dairy and Business Owners Group is holding a vigil at the front of the shop at 10.30am today, to stand in solidarity with the slain shopkeeper.

Group chairman Sunny Kaushal told the Herald last night’s fatal stabbing incident in Sandringham came as a “big shock” and it had left “us all numb with shock”.

“This country is becoming lawless. This was a law-abiding citizen just doing his job.”

Kaushal who is at the scene this morning says this could have been avoided.

“We have been telling the Government for the last five years. Now the worst fear has happened.

“Last night we lost one of us.”

Police are at the scene after a worker at Rose Cottage Suprette was fatally stabbed last night. Photo / Michael Craig
Police are at the scene after a worker at Rose Cottage Suprette was fatally stabbed last night. Photo / Michael Craig

Kaushal said the Government’s soft-on-crime approach has led offenders to have no fear of authorities.

“Dairy shop owners are extremely fearful for their lives. Running a business in this country has become very difficult.

“The Government has blood on its hands.”

Kaushal said somebody needed to take responsibility for the worker’s death.

“Government owes answers to the worker’s family.”

Kaushal said the dairy owners were overseas and a worker was looking after the shop for them.

Although he had not spoken to the family directly yet, the group was trying to reach them and rally support.

Police have responded to a serious incident at the Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham. Photo / Hayden Woodward
Police have responded to a serious incident at the Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham. Photo / Hayden Woodward

Police were called to the Rose Cottage Superette at the intersection of Haverstock Rd and Fowlds Ave at 8.05pm yesterday after an offender entered the shop armed with a knife and took the cash register.

“We are still working to establish exactly what took place, but at some point during the incident, the dairy worker was allegedly stabbed,” police said in a statement to the media just after 10pm.

The worker suffered critical injuries and was transported to the hospital but died a short time later.

Police have launched a homicide investigation, with a manhunt under way for the offender.

“We know this incident will be extremely concerning and unsettling for our community,” police said. “We are undertaking extensive inquiries to identify and locate the offender.”

Rose Cottage Superette roller door remains shut as police specialist search group sets up multiple tents. Photo/ Hayden Woodward
Rose Cottage Superette roller door remains shut as police specialist search group sets up multiple tents. Photo/ Hayden Woodward

Cordons have remained in place overnight and nearby residents can expect to see a significant police presence as police conduct a scene examination, talk to possible witnesses, and conduct area canvasses.

More than a dozen police officers remained at the scene shortly after 9.30 pm, while a specialist police photographer is also conducting a scene examination.

Police said they would like to hear from anyone who was in the area around the time of this incident, who may have seen something which could assist us in identifying and locating the offender.

A local resident describes the shop’s owners as “the most beautiful family”.

“This family is literally so loved by this neighbourhood,” they said. “We love these guys, they are our community. This is so utterly shocking and devastating for all of us who live around here.”

Another neighbour of the shop told a photographer at the scene they came to the dairy often.

“A lovely young family owns it, they only left a few days ago for a vacation. Sadly it seems someone has taken advantage.”

Other neighbours were in shock, some were seen shaking their heads.

The Auckland suburb of Sandringham had a large spate of crime between February and March earlier this year, with vape shops being targeted along with liquor stores and dairies.

During this spate, Sandringham business owners were taking drastic measures to protect themselves and their businesses.

Liquor store owner, Andy Lin spent three months sleeping in his shop due to being targeted with ramraids and break-ins multiple times. An elderly member of the public was stabbed in June when he stood up for a shopkeeper who was targeted during a robbery.

The business owners tried banding together to collectively hire an overnight security guard, which didn’t go ahead due to a lack of funding.

None of the mitigation measures such as bollards was made available to the businesses through the $6m Crime Prevention Fund, according to Business Association manager Mark Scherer, which in September had only supported five businesses across the country.

“They were known targets,” he said.

The Sandringham Business Association Whatsapp chat was “pretty active” last night. Scherer said the local community leaders are appalled by the news.

“People aren’t just upset anymore, they’re angry. It’s the step too far we thought would happen at some stage. We knew if these violent attacks continued somebody would be killed, now that’s happened.”



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