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Sydney knife attacker shot dead by police after killing six at shopping centre

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A knife attacker killed six people and injured several others in a stabbing spree at a Sydney shopping centre before being shot dead by police.

The lone knifeman attacked shoppers on Saturday afternoon at the Westfield shopping centre in the suburb of Bondi Junction in eastern Sydney.

A female New South Wales Police inspector confronted the attacker on her own and shot him dead as he raised a knife and lunged at her.

Police said they had identified the attacker as a 40-year-old man who was known to them, but added that they do not think he was motivated by terrorism.

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

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

Reports have suggested the woman who died in hospital is the child’s mother.

Police officers stand guard outside Westfield Shopping Centre where multiple people were stabbed in Sydney, Saturday, April 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb told a press conference that her officers “believe that he is a 40-year-old man”.

She added: 

“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.” 

Emergency services were called to Westfield Bondi Junction following reports that multiple people had been stabbed at 3.30pm (6.30am UK time), police said.

Anthony Cooke, assistant commissioner of New South Wales Police, said the police officer “confronted the offender”.

At a press conference, he said: “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.”

He added: “This all happened very, very quickly – the officer that was in the vicinity attended on her own, was guided to the location of the offender by people who were in the centre.

“She took the actions that she did saving a range of people’s lives; (she was) an inspector, a senior police officer – she was on her own.

“She engaged immediately on her arrival to the scene.”

The officer conducted CPR on the attacker until the arrival of paramedics, who worked on the man; however, he could not be revived.

Emergency services are seen at Bondi Junction after multiple people were stabbed at the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre in Sydney.(Steven Saphore/AAP Image via AP)
Emergency services are seen at Bondi Junction after multiple people were stabbed at the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre in Sydney.(Steven Saphore/AAP Image via AP)

Video footage shared online appears to show a shopper confronting the attacker on an escalator in the shopping centre by holding a bollard towards him.

A shopper, who was not named, told ABC News of the moment the attacker was shot: “He just started floating towards us and all I heard was ‘put it down’ and then she shot him.

“But we were in no doubt, if she didn’t shoot him, he would have kept going.

“He was on the rampage.

“Then she walked over and gave him CPR. He had a big blade on him – she chucked the knife away.

“He looked like he was on a killing spree.” A man at the shopping centre said he helped the baby who had been stabbed.

The man told 9News Sydney: “The baby got stabbed.

“The mum got stabbed and came over with a baby and threw it at me – I was holding the baby, it looked pretty bad.” 

In a personal social media post, the Prince and Princess of Wales said they were “shocked and saddened” by the stabbings, adding that their thoughts are with those affected and the “heroic emergency responders who risked their own lives to save others”.

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