Sydney police say 7 dead after shopping mall stabbings

World Saturday 13/April/2024 15:20 PM
By: DW
Sydney police say 7 dead after shopping mall stabbings

Sydney: Australian police say six people have been killed in stabbing attacks at a Sydney shopping mall, with the suspected attacker also shot dead by police.

Five of the victims died at the scene, and one died later in hospital, police said.

The incidents occurred at the Westfield Bondi Junction mall complex, with hundreds told to evacuate the area.

A single person began stabbing people in the mall, attacking nine people, before a police inspector shot him, Assistant Police Commissioner Anthony Cooke told reporters.

Cooke said the senior officer was alone when she confronted the suspect and that by her actions she had saved several lives. He said the suspect had been shot after he turned and raised a knife at the policewoman.

He said the suspect in the attack is believed to have acted alone, after initial reports suggested there might have been two perpetrators.

An ambulance service spokesperson told Reuters news agency that eight people, including a child, reportedly a nine-month-old baby, had been taken to hospital with injuries. Broadcaster ABC said some of the wounded are in critical condition,

Emergency services were called to the mall just before 4 p.m. (0600 GMT) following the reports of the stabbings, police in the state of New South Wales said in a statement.

Several social media posts showed crowds fleeing the mall and police cars and emergency services rushing to the area. Security camera footage broadcast by local media showed a man wearing an Australian rugby league jersey running around the shopping centre with a large knife.

Police have said they are not ruling out terrorism as a possible motive.

Australia is a country with a relatively low rate of violent crime, and this incident has caused great public shock.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that "[f]or all of us tonight, the devastating scenes of Bondi Junction are beyond words or understanding."