6 Dead After Stabbing Rampage at Major Sydney Shopping Mall

Daniel Y. Teng
By Daniel Y. Teng
April 13, 2024Australia
6 Dead After Stabbing Rampage at Major Sydney Shopping Mall
NSW police and ambulance vehicles line the street outside Westfield Bondi Junction in Bondi Junction, Australia on April 13, 2024. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Police have confirmed that six people have died after a stabbing rampage at Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre—a major hub near the world-famous Bondi Beach.

The sixth victim is reported to be the mother of an infant, who was also injured in the attack.

New South Wales (NSW) Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the assailant was about 40, and acted alone. She confirmed five women were killed, and one man.

The police commissioner downplayed any links to terrorism.

“We are waiting to confirm his identification and if it is the person we believe it is, we don’t have fear for that person holding an ideation. In other words, that it’s not a terrorism incident,” she told reporters on the evening of April 13.

Ms. Webb was also waiting for an update on the condition of a nine-month-old baby who was stabbed during the rampage.

“The last update is that they had been in surgery. Too early to say, really. It’s awful, awful,” she added.

Hours earlier, Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke described the actions of the lone, knife-wielding man, who stalked the multi-storey shopping centre.

“As he moved to the centre, he engaged with about nine people, and it’s clear that during that engagement he caused harm to those people, we believe by stabbing them with a weapon he was carrying,” Mr. Cooke told reporters on April 13.

Officers went to confront the attacker, with a female officer finally shooting the attacker.

“She confronted the offender who had moved by this stage to level five. As she continued to walk quickly behind him to catch up with him,” the assistant commissioner said.

“He turned, faced her, raised a knife. She discharged a firearm and that person is now deceased.”

The Incident

Emergency services were called to Westfield Bondi Junction at about 3.40 p.m. local time on Saturday.

Hundreds of shoppers could be seen crowding around outside the sprawling shopping centre.

Police were praised for their quick response to the incident. Later, dozens of ambulance vehicles could be seen waiting outside, along with tactical police.

Dozens of paramedics were treating patients at the scene, and police have declared a critical incident.

There were multiple reports of people running from a man wielding a knife and hiding at the back of shops.

One witness told ABC News he heard yelling and screaming then saw people running and he followed a female police officer upstairs.

They then confronted a man coming towards them with a knife and the officer told him to put it down.

“He would have kept going, he was on a rampage … he had a nice big blade on him so she chucked the knife away … it looked like he was on a killing spree,” the witness said.

A woman told the ABC she thought she was going to die.

“I just came out of the gym and I was just like living my life and then I thought I was going to die … I was just so scared,” she said.

Other witnesses told of grabbing their children and running from the centre along with hundreds of other people.

The Reaction

Waverley Council said on social media the shopping centre was in lockdown and advised against unnecessary travel to Bondi Junction.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he had been briefed by the Australian Federal Police.

He later told reporters, “The devastating scenes at Bondi Junction are beyond words or understanding.”

“Australians will be shocked this evening. This was a horrific act of violence,” Mr. Albanese said.

The prime minister also warned against trying to guess the motive behind the attack, amid speculation a terror motive could be involved.

He also praised the actions of the policewoman who acted alone in dispatching the attacker.

“She is certainly a hero,” he said. “There is no doubt she saved lives with her actions.”

The premier of the state of New South Wales, Chris Minns, who was out of town, said he would make immediate arrangements to return to Sydney.

“I am horrified to hear about the events at Bondi Junction this afternoon,” he wrote on X. “I am making immediate arrangements to return to Sydney. I want to thank NSW Police, emergency services and first responders and the community for their bravery in the face of this shocking incident.”

Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition, Peter Dutton, called it a “tragic and terrifying” event.

“We pray for those who have been rushed to hospital with injuries,” he wrote on X. “We are thinking of all those families whose loved ones have been caught up in this attack.”

Australian Associated Press contributed to this report. 

From The Epoch Times.

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