Six killed, several injured in Sydney mall stabbing | Crime News

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Six killed, several injured in Sydney mall stabbing | Crime News

Australian police say suspect shot dead, motive not immediately clear.

At least six people have been killed and several others injured after a man used a knife to attack people at a busy shopping centre in Australia’s Sydney before being shot dead by police.

Anthony Cooke, New South Wales police assistant commissioner, told a news conference on Saturday that the unidentified suspect was killed by a police officer responding to the scene at the Westfield Bondi Junction mall complex.

Eight people, including a nine-month-old baby and her mother, were rushed to hospital following the attack that took place as the sprawling shopping centre was packed with people. Police said some of them were in a serious or critical condition.

The sixth victim died from injuries in hospital, police told Australian broadcaster ABC News.

Local media reported that hundreds of people were evacuated, with broadcast footage showing police locking down the scene and assisting the injured.

The motive was not immediately clear. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said later on Saturday that speculation “would be unhelpful at this time, we should allow the investigators to go about their work”.

Speaking at a news conference in Canberra, Albanese said the attack was “beyond words or understanding”.

“This was a horrific act of violence, indiscriminately targeting innocent people going about an ordinary Saturday doing their shopping,” he said.

“Preliminary investigations show this person has acted alone. I am content that there is no continuing threat,” Cooke said.

Such attacks are rare in Australia, which has some of the world’s toughest gun and knife laws.

Members of the public are escorted by NSW police officers from inside Westfield Bondi Junction
Members of the public are escorted by police officers from inside the shopping centre in Sydney [AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi via Reuters]

Images and footage from inside the shopping centre showed a male carrying a bloody knife. Several people inside the mall used bollards to try to stop the suspect, who was wearing shorts and a sports jersey. Videos also showed apparent victims on the ground, with emergency responders administering CPR to one victim.

A young woman who was inside the shopping centre when the attack started said she saw a woman lying on the ground in a shop.

“I didn’t see him [the attacker] properly, I was running, but it was just insane, it was insanity, I wasn’t expecting it.”

Another witness said she and her husband were inside a shop when the commotion started, and they managed to escape unscathed after locking themselves inside an office room.

“Somebody was injured down there, everybody was looking to see what was going on. Then we saw all these people running towards us and then we heard a shot.”

The six-level shopping centre is located in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and is relatively close to the city’s main central business district.

Police officers work at the scene outside Bondi Junction following reports
Police officers work at the scene outside Bondi Junction [Kirsty Needham/Reuters]