Sydney knife attacker shot dead after killing 5 in Bondi, police say

In World
April 13, 2024



SYDNEY:

An attacker who fatally knifed five people in a Sydney mall was shot dead by police in Sydney’s beachside suburb of Bondi on Saturday, police said, as hundreds fled the scene.

The assailant was shot by a police officer after he engaged with nine people in the busy Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre, police said.

“She discharged a firearm and that person is now deceased. I am advised that there are five victims who are now deceased as a result of the actions of this offender,” New South Wales Police Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke told a press conference.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said there was no indication yet of the man’s motive.

“This was a horrific act of violence, indiscriminately targeting innocent people going about an ordinary Saturday doing their shopping,” he told a press conference.

“Tonight the first thoughts of all Australians are with the victims of these terrible acts.”

Australia has some of the world’s toughest gun and knife laws, and attacks such as the one on Saturday are rare.

On the rampage

Emergency services were called to the mall just before 4 p.m. (0600 GMT) after the stabbing reports, police said.

Eight people, including a child, had been taken to hospital, said a New South Wales Ambulance spokesperson.

Reese Colmenares, an eyewitness who hid in a hardware store with 20 others when people started running out of the mall, said she saw a baby with stab wounds being taken to an ambulance.

“The mother was terrified, the mother was sad, just holding (and) comforting the baby,” she told Reuters.

Two other witnesses told Reuters they heard shots fired.

“Even 20 minutes after people were rushed out of the mall, I saw SWAT teams of people sweeping the surrounding streets,” one witness said.

The other said they saw a woman lying on the ground and took shelter in a jewellery store.

An eyewitness described the police officer shooting the attacker to state broadcaster ABC.

“If she did not shoot him, he would have kept going, he was on the rampage,” said the man, who did not give his name. “She went over and was giving him CPR. He had a nice big blade on him. He looked like he was on a killing spree.”

Several posts on social media showed crowds fleeing the mall and police cars and emergency services rushing to the area.

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