SYDNEY (AP) — A man stabbed six people to death at a busy Sydney shopping center Saturday before he was fatally shot, police said, with hundreds fleeing the chaotic scene, many weeping as they carried their children. Eight people, including a 9-month-old, were injured.

May 28 2024

SYDNEY (AP) — A man stabbed six people to death at a busy Sydney shopping center Saturday before he was fatally shot, police said, with hundreds fleeing the chaotic scene, many weeping as they carried their children. Eight people, including a 9-month-old, were injured.

The 40-year-old was stopped in the knifing attack at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction, which is in the city’s eastern suburbs, when a police inspector shot him after he turned and raised a knife, New South Wales Assistant Police Commissioner Anthony Cooke told reporters.

“They just said run, run, run — someone’s been stabbed,” one witness told ABC TV in Australia. ”(The attacker) was walking really calmly like he was having an ice cream in a park. And then he went up the escalators ... and probably within about a minute we heard three gunshots.” Six of the victims — five women and a man — and the suspect died. Commissioner Karen Webb said the eight injured people were being treated at hospitals. The baby was in surgery, but it was too early to know the condition, she said. “We are confident that there is no ongoing risk, and we are dealing with one person who is now deceased,” Webb said in a later briefing. She added: “It’s not a terrorism incident.” She said police wouldn’t identify the man yet and were still working to determine his motivation.

Cooke said a ”lengthy and precise” investigation was just beginning.

Some witnesses were shocked at the rare outburst of violence. Australia enacted strict gun laws after a man killed 35 and wounded another 23 in 1996, in Tasmania.

Cooke said the police inspector, a senior officer, was alone when she confronted the suspect and engaged him soon after her arrival on the scene, “saving a range of people’s lives.” The officer “showed enormous courage and bravery,” Webb said.

“If she didn’t shoot, he would have kept going, and I don’t know how many more he would have done,” another witness told 7News, speaking of the police inspector. Video showed many ambulances and police cars around the shopping center, and people streaming out, many with children in their arms.

Paramedics were treating patients at the scene.

Roi Huberman, a sound engineer at ABC TV in Australia, told the network that he sheltered 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.” The most senior members of Britain’s royal family, who are also royals in Australia, expressed their shock and sadness over the stabbings.

King Charles III said he and his wife Queen Camilla were “utterly shocked and horrified” by the “senseless attack” in Sydney and that their “hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who have been so brutally killed.” The king’s eldest son Prince William and his wife Catherine, Princess of Wales, said they too were “shocked and saddened” and that their thoughts are with those affected and the “heroic emergency responders who risked their own lives to save others.”


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