Supermarket slasher guilty: Frenzied attack over not being able to buy beer

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Dec 2021, 10:19AM
The attack took place at the Cumberland St Countdown on May 10. (Photo / ODT)
The attack took place at the Cumberland St Countdown on May 10. (Photo / ODT)

Supermarket slasher guilty: Frenzied attack over not being able to buy beer

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Dec 2021, 10:19AM

The man behind the Dunedin supermarket stabbings has pleaded guilty to the frenzied attack and can finally be unmasked. 

Luke James Lambert, 42, appeared in the High Court at Dunedin this morning, by video link from Invercargill Prison, where he admitted four charges of attempted murder. 

Counsel John Westgate confirmed there was no application for continued name suppression - an order that had been in force since charges were laid following the shocking incident on May 10 this year. 

Chaos ensued when Lambert walked into Countdown Dunedin Central about 2.35pm that day and began stabbing people in the pharmacy aisle. 

Crown prosecutor Richard Smith said Lambert had made an earlier trip to the supermarket that day where he bought a soft drink but had insufficient funds for two cans of beer. 

Luke James Lambert appeared in court by video link from Invercargill Prison this morning. Photo / Gerard O'Brien 

He later complained to an associate in the Octagon about not getting access to medication. 

"Someone's going to get it," Lambert said. 

When he returned to the supermarket, the defendant removed four knives from shelves and walked to the pharmacy section where he put his backpack on the floor. 

He removed two knives from their packaging and began slashing at his first victim. 

"I'm going to kill you," Lambert said. 

The extreme violence continued and a summary of facts detailed the harrowing array of injuries the victims sustained. 

One of the four seriously injured during the bloody rampage was one of the supermarket's senior managers, father-of-two Dallas Wilson. 

He was stabbed four times and, like the other victims, was rushed to hospital for surgery. 

"Fortunately all wounds narrowly missed any vital organs," Wilson said, after being discharged 10 days later. 

He called it a "random attack" and paid tribute to those who restrained Lambert at the scene as well as those who provided him with medical treatment in the aftermath. 

Vanessa Andrews and Jorge Fuenzalida were last to leave hospital and released a statement through police in June saying that what happened remained very much on their minds. 

''We try to help people where we can, and that day we heard people in distress. During the process we both got badly injured,'' they said. 

The final victim was granted interim name suppression. 

Lambert was given a first-strike warning and will be sentenced in May next year.