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Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

UPDATE 9.20AM SUNDAY 14 APRIL 2024
NSW Police have started updating details about yesterday’s shocking stabbing massacre at Westfield Bondi Junction. The death toll remains at 7 – 5 women, 1 man, and the attacker – but the injured toll has increased, with 12 people still in hospital.

The 9 month old baby is out of surgery and in a serious but stable condition. Sadly, the child’s mother, was one of the first named victims: 38 year old Ash Good.

Police have named the perpetrator of the random attack as Queenslander Joel Cauchi, a 40 year old man with known mental health issues and who was known to Queensland Police before relocating to the Sydney area around one month ago.

First year university student Benjamin Cohen was incorrectly named by trolls on social media as being responsible for the attack last night, and has spent the night being ‘freaked out’ and inundated by messages and phone calls. It is not clear if he was identified based solely on his picture, or if the cyber-attack was motivated by antisemitism, but Police have not ruled out investigating the issue and have urged people not to spread misinformation, but to report anything they know to CrimeStoppers.

Further details are expected to come to light throughout the day.

The New England Times continue to make inquiries about locals who may have been caught up in yesterday’s events. Know something? Email newsdesk@netimes.com.au


ORIGINAL STORY

Saturday afternoon shopping in one of Australia’s biggest shopping centres turned in to a chaotic and horrific scene after a 40 year old man began randomly stabbing people.

One man and four women were pronounced dead at the scene at Westfield Bondi Junction yesterday afternoon, with eight more victims transferred to area hospitals. The mother of a nine month old baby was later pronounced dead in hospital while her child underwent surgery.

The always busy shopping centre was packed on the first weekend of the school holidays, and hundreds ran for their lives or took shelter inside shops as the rampage continued. The attacker, dressed in shorts and a green and gold football jersey, ran around openly wielding his knife. A female senior police officer who was the first on scene, persued the man alone. When the offender turned towards her and raised his knife, she calmly told him to put it down, and when he did not, the senior officer shot him once, killing him instantly.

Social media quickly leapt to conclusions and conspiracy theories, given that the Bondi area is home to Australia’s largest Jewish community. However, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb assured that it was not a terrorism incident.

” There should be no ongoing concerns. We believe that this person was acting alone and there is no threat to the community.”

The Commissioner said they had not yet formally confirmed his identity, but they believe he is an individual known to law enforcement and that he does not have an ideation.

“That is, it is not a terrorism incident,” she sad.

“It will take a thorough investigation, it will take time for us to go back through his life and history to identify [a motive].”

For an incident to be classified as terrorism there must be an ideological or political motive.

Police officers, shop keepers, and members of the public, have all been commended for their bravery.

Identities of the victims, and the police inspector who shot the offender, are expected to be released over coming days. It is not yet known if anyone from our region was among the injured, however, social media posts indicate that a number of friends and family of locals were at the shopping centre.


This story may be upsetting. If you or someone you know needs support contact:
– Lifeline (24/7): 13 11 14
– Kids helpline (24/7): 1800 55 1800
– Beyond Blue (24/7): 1300 22 46 36