4 wounded after man with axe attacks diners at 3 New Zealand restaurants

Police tape cordons off a restaurant Tuesday in Auckland, New Zealand. (Hayden Woodward/New Zealand Herald via AP)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Four people were hospitalized in New Zealand after a man armed with an axe began attacking diners at random at three neighboring Chinese restaurants, according to police and witnesses.

Police said the man began the attack at about 9 p.m. Monday in the north Auckland suburb of Albany. They said they arrested a 24-year-old suspect at the scene and had charged him with wounding and intending to cause grievous bodily harm. Police did not immediately offer a motive for the attack.

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Auckland City Hospital said Tuesday one patient from the attack remained there in a stable condition. North Shore Hospital said it had one patient with moderate injuries and a second with minor injuries, both of whom were in a stable condition, and had earlier discharged a third patient.

A diner told the New Zealand Herald newspaper he was eating dinner with a friend when the man walked in and started attacking his friend.

“I was in shock. When I realized what was happening, he tried to target me,” the man, who asked not to be named, told the Herald. “I blocked his axe with my hand. He was also trying to target my head, so I blocked the axe with my hand.”

The diner said the man with the axe chased them out of the restaurant and then turned around and walked into another restaurant.

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