Sydney Mall Stabbing Attack: What We Know

A stabbing attack at a crowded mall in Sydney, Australia, left six people dead and injured at least 12 others on Saturday afternoon. The rampage was the deadliest act of mass violence in the country since 2017.

The authorities said that the attacker, who was identified on Sunday as Joel Cauchi, 40, was shot and killed by a police officer.

Here’s what we know about the attack so far.

The attack happened at Westfield Bondi Junction, a popular shopping center in the Eastern Suburbs, an affluent area of Sydney near the coast.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene as shoppers noticed people running and saying that someone in the mall had a knife. As the attacker moved through the mall, the police said, he began to stab people.

Five people died of their injuries at the scene and a woman died later in a hospital, the police said.

The victims who remained hospitalized on Sunday morning, including a 9-month-old baby, were in serious but stable condition, Anthony Cooke, the assistant police commissioner for New South Wales, said at a news conference. At least nine women and two men were injured, the police said.

Multiple calls were made from the mall about a stabbing, beginning shortly after 3:30 p.m. local time.

Mr. Cauchi was shot and killed after a police officer was directed into the shopping center, where he lunged at her with his weapon.

Michael Dunkley, 57, who witnessed the attack, said that the officer directed Mr. Cauchi to drop the knife. He “didn’t say anything,” Mr. Dunkley said. “He seemed determined.”

Police Commissioner Karen Webb of the New South Wales Police said a motive for the attack was unclear but there were no indications it was a hate crime or related to terrorism.

Commissioner Cooke said that Mr. Cauchi had a history of mental health problems.

One witness described Mr. Cauchi as a thin man with a beard and short hair, who was wearing dark green pants and a green jersey.

Bondi Junction is a wealthy area of Sydney where tourists and beachgoers meander, shop and meet with friends.

The district draws crowds on weekends, where people can shop at high-end stores in the Westfield mall complex, see a movie or buy groceries.

During a major renovation in 2005, the area was known as one of the largest shopping centers in the Southern Hemisphere.

The district is also a point of access for beachgoers and residents from central Sydney to many of the city’s popular coastlines.

The stabbing at the shopping center was the worst act of mass violence in the country since 2017, when a man intentionally drove his car into a mall in Melbourne, killing six people, after he had stabbed his brother and taken a woman hostage.

After a mass shooting that left 35 people dead in the Tasmanian town of Port Arthur in 1996, lawmakers tightened gun restrictions and standardized the laws across the country.

“In this country, this stuff shouldn’t happen,” Mr. Dunkley said. “People come here because it’s safe.”

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