Bondi Junction mall attack: 'Obvious' killer targeted women, Sydney police say

  • Written by Tiffany Turnbull, Guy Savage, Simon Atkinson, and Emily Atkinson
  • In Sydney and London

Image source, Rohan Anderson

Comment on the photo, Joel Cauchi killed five women and a man before being shot dead

A man who carried out a stabbing rampage at a Sydney shopping center appears to have targeted women, police said.

Joel Cauchi, 40, caused panic in the busy Westfield Bondi Junction complex on Saturday when he began stabbing people with a long blade.

Five of the six people who died were women. And many other people, including a little girl, They were injured.

The New South Wales Police Commissioner told Australia's ABC News it was “clear” Cauchi was focusing on women.

The only man killed in the attack was security guard Faraz Tahir, 30, who tried to intervene. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told Triple M Radio on Monday that he was a refugee from Pakistan and had only been in Australia for a “short period”.

“The videos speak for themselves, don't they?” Commissioner Karen Webb said.

“It is clear to me, and it is clear to investigators… that the perpetrator focused on women and avoided men.

“We don’t know what was going through the perpetrator’s mind, which is why it is now important that investigators spend a lot of time interviewing those who knew him.”

Authorities previously said the attack was likely “mental health related” to Mr. Kauchi, who was shot dead by a police officer on Saturday.

Albanese also told ABC News that “the gender divide is of course troubling.”

Ashley Judd, 38, was fatally stabbed while trying to protect her nine-month-old daughter, who was also injured and taken into surgery. Hours after emergency surgery, the child's condition improved significantly, state officials said.

“In the darkest of times, sometimes the brightest lights come, something our entire country has been holding its breath [for]Health Minister Ryan Park said Monday.

Image source, NSW Police/PA

Comment on the photo, Becrea D'Arcia, 55, was one of the six victims of the knife attack in Bondi Junction

Police also identified architect Jed Young, 47, and Becrea D'Arcia, 55, as victims, while local media identified Dawn Singleton, 25.

In a social media post, her employer described her as a “kind, kind-hearted person who had her whole life ahead of her.”

Albanese confirmed that Qing Yichuan, a Chinese student who was studying in Sydney, was the latest victim. ABC News reported that her family members have been informed and are currently on their way to Australia.

Four people injured during the rampage have since been released from hospital. Eight others are still receiving care in conditions ranging from serious to stable, according to local media.

The attacker's father, Andrew Cauchi, told reporters that his son was suffering from mental illness and had recently stopped taking medication.

“For you, he is a monster,” he said in a video clip published by The Australian newspaper. “For me, he was a very sick boy.”

Video explanation, The scene of the Westfield Bondi mall attack remains a hive of police activity

New South Wales state Premier Chris Minns said the “devastating and violent attack” had shaken “everyone in the city”, while announcing an AU$18 million ($11.6 million; £9.3 million) investigation into the police response and interactions. Previously conducted by the killer. He was with government agencies.

He also mentioned the possibility of establishing a permanent memorial in Bondi to remember the six victims, during an interview with ABC News.

Mr Cauchi was already known to police, but had not been arrested or charged in his home state of Queensland. Queensland Police said he lived itinerantly for several years and was first diagnosed with mental illness when he was 17 years old.

Comment on the photo, Security guard Faraz Tahir, 30, came to Australia about a year before the stabbing his community said happened

When asked about Mr Cauchi's interactions with NSW Police, Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cook said he was only aware of a “move along type situation” when he was sleeping rough.

Park said there was no information to suggest Cauchi received treatment in NSW for mental health issues, but there would be a “deep dive” into his history.

The attack, which occurred on one of the country's largest and most popular shopping malls, shocked Australia, where mass killings are rare.

Flags across the country were flown at half-mast on Monday, and the sails of the Sydney Opera House will be lit in honor of the victims.

Crowds of mourners flocked to Bondi Junction, leaving flowers and cards for the victims of the attack.

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