Sydney Cops Identify Suspect in Mall Stabbing Spree

Investigators say 40-year-old has a history of mental illness
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 14, 2024 7:03 AM CDT
Sydney Cops Identify Suspect in Mall Stabbing Spree
People are led out from the Westfield Shopping Centre where multiple people were stabbed in Sydney, Saturday, April 13, 2024.   (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Police in Australia on Sunday identified the assailant who fatally stabbed six people at a busy Sydney shopping center before a police officer fatally shot him. New South Wales Police said that Joel Cauchi, 40, was responsible for the Saturday afternoon attack at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction, in the city's eastern suburbs and not far from the world-famous Bondi Beach, per the AP. NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Anthony Cooke told reporters that Cauchi suffered from unspecified mental health issues and that police investigators weren't treating the attack as terrorism-related.

  • Elaborating: "We are continuing to work through the profiling of the offender but very clearly to us at this stage, it would appear that this is related to the mental health of the individual involved," Cooke said, adding that investigators had no evidence to "suggest that this was driven by any particular motivation—ideology or otherwise."
  • 'A hero:' Inspector Amy Scott, who was the first emergency responder on the scene, shot and killed Cauchi. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the officer was "certainly a hero" whose actions had saved lives. "The wonderful inspector who ran into danger by herself and removed the threat that was there to others, without thinking about the risks to herself," he said.
  • More bravery: Video showed a man confronting the attacker on an escalator in the shopping center by holding what appeared to be a metal pole. "We also see the footage of ordinary Australians putting themselves in harm's way in order to help their fellow citizens" said Albanese. "That bravery was quite extraordinary that we saw yesterday."
  • Victims: The attack at the shopping mall, one of the country's busiest, began around 3:10pm. Six people—five women and one man, aged between 20 and 55—were killed in the attack. Another 12 were injured and remain in hospital, including a 9-month-old child whose mother was killed in the attack. The male victim was a security guard at the shopping center and was later identified as 30-year-old Faraz Tahir from Pakistan.
(More Sydney stories.)

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