A mental patient escaped custody, broke into a home and stabbed a stranger in the face, before hiding under a nearby property and turning the knife on himself.
The 22-year-old man escaped from Capital & Coast DHB staff in the Wellington suburb of Karori while being transported to Wellington Hospital.
About 11.30am today, he ran to an address in Burrows Ave, entered the home and stabbed a 21-year-old man multiple times in the face and throat.
The patient was being taken to hospital when he slipped his Capital & Coast DHB minders and escaped.
A police spokesman said mental health staff alerted police the man had run off and, "at almost the same time, police received a 111 call from the 21-year-old man saying he had been stabbed".
Central communications shift commander Inspector Ian Harris said a cordon was put in place while police hunted down the offender using police dogs.
It is understood the 22-year-old was found about 150 metres from the site of the stabbing.
He was discovered underneath decking of a house and it is believed he had stabbed or cut himself several times in the chest.
Due to the confined space police couldn't reach the man.
It took a while for officers time to talk him out before he could be arrested and taken into custody.
The victim was in a "serious but stable condition" at Wellington Hospital.
It is understood his injuries may require plastic surgery.
The principal of nearby St Teresa's School, Mary-Angela Tombs, was contacted by police and advised to keep pupils inside while police located the offender.
She said the children were kept indoors for almost an hour before receiving word from police they could venture out into their playgrounds for the lunch break.
Police say they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the stabbing.
Anyone who saw the 22-year-old in Karori Rd or saw him in Burrows Ave are asked to call Wellington police on 04 381 2000.
- The Dominion Post
How soon will you visit the new war memorial park?Related story: War memorial park all but completed