Suspect, 40, among seven killed in Sydney Westfield Shopping Centre stabbing attack


A man stabbed six people to death at a busy Sydney mall before he was fatally shot on Saturday.

Four women and a man died in the shopping centre and another woman died in hospital, New South Wales police said.

The attack, which took place at Westfield Shopping Centre near Bondi Junction at around 4pm local time, also left several people injured, including a nine-month-old baby.

The attack was carried out by a 40-year-old man who arrived at the mall and started stabbing people at random. He attacked nine people before a police inspector shot him dead, assistant police commissioner Anthony Cooke told reporters.

He said the suspect acted alone and there was “no continuing threat”.

“A man walked into Westfield at Bondi Junction, he left the centre very shortly after and returned,” Mr Cooke said.

“As he moved through the centre he engaged with about nine people. It is clear that during that engagement he caused harm to those people, we believe by stabbing them with a weapon he was carrying.”

“Very clearly a range of reports were made on the incident, police attended promptly. A single unit officer, inspector of police, was nearby, attended, went into the centre directed by a range of people.”

“She confronted the offender who had moved, by this stage, to level five.”

“As she continued to walk quickly behind to catch up with him he turned to face her, raised a knife, she discharged a firearm and that person is now deceased.”

A woman cries as she comes out of the Westfield mall after the stabbing attack (AFP via Getty Images)

The attack is not thought to be an act of terrorism, New South Wales Police commissioner Karen Webb said.

“Later this evening we became aware of who we believe the offender is and we believe he is a 40-year-old man,” Ms Webb told a press conference. “However, we are waiting to formally identify him and we cannot speculate yet on his identification.”

“But 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.”

“If in fact it is the person that we believe it is, then we don’t have fears for that person holding an ideation. In other words, that it’s not a terrorism incident.

“He is known to law enforcement but we are waiting to identify him formally.”

Police patrol in front of the Westfield shopping mall after the stabbing attack (AFP via Getty Images)

Both Mr Cooke and Ms Webb lauded the inspector who shot the suspect.

Mr Cooke said the inspector confronted the suspect and engaged him soon after her arrival on the scene, “saving a range of people’s lives”.

Ms Webb described the officer as “enormously courageous”.

She said shopkeepers and shoppers at the mall also “showed amazing courage and bravery”, she added.

“It was an awful situation and no doubt people dealing with the trauma that they witnessed but it could have been much worse.”

About eight people, including the nine-month-old, are in hospitals around Sydney receiving treatment for “different injuries”. The infant has undergone surgery.

“We’ve responded a total of 40 resources to the scene who remain on scene still,” New South Wales Ambulance said in a statement. “That included a total of four medical teams.”

“New South Wales Ambulance assessed and transported eight patients to various hospital facilities across Sydney and assessed a total of six patients who have been deemed deceased on scene.”

Ambulances make their way outside the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall after a stabbing incident in Sydney on 13 April 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

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.”

Roi Huberman, an ABC sound engineer who also witnessed the attack, told the news network that he took shelter in a store during the incident.

“And suddenly we heard a shot or maybe two shots and we didn’t know what to do,” he said. “Then the very capable person in the store took us to the back where it can be locked. She then locked the store and then she then let us through the back and now we are out.”

Families walk out of the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall after a stabbing incident in Sydney on 13 April 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Another witness said he was in a cafe with his two small children when he saw a man “stabbing people indiscriminately”.

ABC News Australia spoke to the witness, who did not want to be identified, and reported: “He saw a bloke in a green shirt start stabbing people indiscriminately, he handed off his kids to his wife who escaped before he started trying to help a woman who had been stabbed outside.”

“He said he saw screaming, screaming and it didn’t seem that long before we heard the boom, boom, boom of the gunshot and we thought and hoped that it was the police. The security guard, he said, was dying 10 metres away.”

“He grabbed towels there, and there were three people dying right around him.”

“It was just carnage, was how he described the situation as it unfolded, he was very much there after he sent his children and his wife to safety.”

“The first responders didn’t realise they were coming in to see multiple critical people, and added the cops were just unreal.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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