Australia in shock, six people dead, 8 wounded in mass attack

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By Jay Jackson, Taiwan Sun
13 Apr 2024, 23:13 GMT+10

Australia in shock, six people dead, 8 wounded in mass attack

By Jay Jackson, Taiwan Sun
13 Apr 2024, 23:13 GMT+10

  • Six people were stabbed to death, and 12 were wounded at one of the busiest shopping malls in Australia’s largest city on Saturday afternoon .
  • One of the victims was a baby who is in critical condition. Her mother died in the attack.
  • The mass stabbing, just before mid-Saturday afternoon, has shocked Australia.

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia – Six people were stabbed to death, and 12 were wounded at one of the busiest shopping malls in Australia’s largest city on Saturday afternoon.

One of the victims was a baby. The alleged killer was shot dead by police, taking the death toll to seven.

The mass stabbing, just after 3:30pm Saturday afternoon, has shocked Australia which has not seen such an attack since 1996 when a lone gunman shot dead 35 people at Port Arthur in Tasmania, in a mass shooting known as the Port Arthur massacre. That incident led to a dramatic change to the now world-renowned change in the country’s gun ownership laws.

Saturday afternoon at the giant multi-level Westfield Shopping centre in suburban Sydney, just a few minutes drive from the city, saw panic scenes when a 40-year old man wielding a large knife suddenly began stabbing people at random. A mother and her infant daughter were among the victims. The mother was rushed to nearby St Vincent’s Hospital where she died. The baby girl is in critical condition at the Sydney Children’s Hospital. St George Hospital in suburban Kogarah, and Royal North Shore Hospital in North Sydney also treated victims.

The man walking through Bondi Junction with a knife.

Taking aim at a seventh fatal victim, the alleged attacker was shot dead by a police officer, one of scores who rushed to the mall. The police officer, a woman, had called on the man to drop his knife. Instead he plunged his knife at her.

An image circulated on social media showed the police inspector attending to the attacker after shooting him.

The officer is assigned to the Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command. Police say she performed CPR on the man until NSW Ambulance paramedics arrived, however he could not be revived.

The mall was closed following the stabbing and a crime scene has been established.

“A critical incident team comprised of State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad and the Central Metropolitan Region will now investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident,” NSW Police said in a statement late Saturday afternoon..

“The investigation will also be subject to an independent review,” the statement said.

The scene was one of pandemonium with shoppers fleeting the mall. Around a dozen ambulances were seen with paramedics busily treating the wounded.

Those killed included 5 women and a man.

Man walks with knife through Bondi Junction. Picture: 9News

As shoppers rushed to the exits a warning siren was sounded throughout the centre calling for an evacuation.

By this stage the alleged attacker had reached the fifth floor of the mall where he was confronted by the police officer who brought his alleged carnage to an end.

“Let me assure you that we are confident that there is no ongoing risk and we are dealing with one person who is now deceased,” Police Commissioner Karen Webb said Saturday night.

“The investigation will be ongoing for many, many days but there are elements that we understand at this point in time that don’t indicate that it was a terrorist attack, but as we move into the investigation, and background this person, his home, vehicle, associates, we will only know at that time.”

Speaking of the officer who ended the attack, the commissioner said: “She showed enormous courage and bravery. She will need to be interviewed formally. We just talked about if she’s OK, her family is OK. She will be interviewed tomorrow.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese issued a statement Saturday night. “Tragically, multiple casualties have been reported and the first thoughts of all Australians are with those affected and their loved ones,” he said.

“Our hearts go out to those injured and we offer our thanks to those caring for them as well as our brave police and first responders,” the Australian prime minister added.

The state’s premier, Chris Minns, had just arrived in Japan for a two week’s holiday but made immediate plans to return to Australia. “I am horrified to hear about the events at Bondi Junction this afternoon,” he said in a statement.

“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,” Mr Minns said.

(Images: TCN 9 screenshot, images circulating on social media).

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