Sockburn residents shocked and scared after being randomly stabbed

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Residents of a Christchurch suburb are considering moving after a woman was randomly stabbed to death on Saturday afternoon.

By Tessa Guest of rnz.co.nz

The woman was walking from work to her home on Cheyenne Street in Sockburn when she was attacked with a knife by a man.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 4:20 p.m. and she died of her injuries a short time later.

Police have not yet released the name of the victim, but said she was in her 50s and had a partner and children.

Superintendent John Price said the alleged assailant did not know her.

“It was just a horrible, traumatic, random attack on an innocent person who was just going home from work,” he said.

The alleged attacker is known to police and is due in Christchurch District Court on Monday for murder.

Dee Ram lives across the street and is horrified that something so horrific could happen near her home for 17 years.

“Such a precious life has been taken, it’s very sad, and I’m very angry for the person who did this. He had no right to do this.”

She has lived there with her husband and children since immigrating from India – but now feels so unsafe she might leave the area.

“I don’t even think it’s safe for me, my husband, my kids or anyone else to go for a walk. I used to go for a walk to the dairy, and now I have to think three times before taking action.”

A couple who did not want to be named live two doors down from the scene of the attack and heard no screaming on Saturday.

It took three police cars and two ambulances to arrive for them to realize something had happened.

“It wasn’t until after the cops arrived that we knew what was going on, so we were just inside the house, and we didn’t hear anything, it was quite strange.”

“We didn’t hear anyone screaming.

They are afraid to let their children leave the house and plan to drive them to school from now on.

Anne van Slooten, 92, lives next door, but she does not feel threatened by the attack.

“It’s just an isolated case, someone must have gone crazy,” she said.

Ram said the neighborhood is united and supportive – most people have lived there for decades and are helping each other after the earthquakes 11 years ago.

She said they would come together to deal with the horrific event – but for now she just wants the cords down so she can support the victim’s whānau.

“We can’t go to their house because of all the barricades and the police to see how they are, because in our Indian custom when something like this happens we will give food.”

“We can’t do that. We can’t do anything like that.”

Most of Cheyenne Street was blocked off Saturday after the attack, and cordons remained in place for surrounding homes on Sunday while a scene survey took place.

Superintendent Price said the review will continue over the next few days.

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