Six Killed In Knife Attack At Australian Shopping Center

Police say they don't know motive for attack.
Paramedics (R) move a stretcher with medical equipment outside the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall after a stabbing incident in Sydney on April 13, 2024. The number of people killed by a knife-wielding assailant in a Sydney shopping centre on April 13 has climbed to six, police said. (Photo by David GRAY / AFP)
Credit: Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images.

Six people were killed in a stabbing attack at an Australian mall on Saturday that was stopped only after police fatally shot the attacker.

The attack, by an unidentified 40-year-old man, took place at 3:30 p.m local time at the Westfield Bondi Junction mall in Sydney and left five women and one man dead. Australian authorities say they do not believe the attack was motivated by terrorism though they have not yet released the suspect’s name. 

“If it is in fact the person that we believe it is, then we don’t have fears for that person holding an ideation — in other words, it’s not a terrorism incident,” New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb said after the attack. “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.”

At least seven other people, including a 9-month-old baby, were also injured in the attack and are currently at local hospitals receiving treatment. One video from the attack appeared to show a shopper attempt to confront the attacker on the escalator with a mobile bollard. 

The attacker was stopped after an officer chased him down and shot him after he turned back at her with the knife. 

“She confronted the offender who had moved by this stage to level five [of the mall] as she continued to walk quickly behind him to catch up with him. He turned, faced her, raised a knife. She discharged a firearm and that person is now deceased,” said New South Wales Police Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke.

Cooke said police had “nothing that we are aware of at the scene that would indicate any motive or any ideology.”

“It looked like he was on a killing spree,” a witness said of the attacker, according to the New York Times. “If she [the officer] didn’t shoot him, he would have kept going.”

“This was a horrific act of violence indiscriminately targeted at the innocent people going about an ordinary Saturday, doing their shopping,” said Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who added that the officer who shot the attacker was a hero who saved lives. 

U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy expressed her sympathy for the victims in a post on X after the attack. 

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the events at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney today. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were lost, and wish the injured a speedy and complete recovery,” she said.

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