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Australia: Sydney Mall Attack Targeted At Women -Authorities

Australia: More information on the six victims of the Sydney mall assailant suggests that he may have targeted women, according to police.

As tragic details of those who died emerged, sending the country into sadness, Australian police revealed on Monday that the attacker who fatally stabbed six people at a crowded retail center in Sydney’s coastal neighborhood of Bondi may have been targeting women.

Joel Cauchi, 40, killed six people on Saturday, including five women, when he rampaged through the crowded Westfield shopping complex in Bondi Junction. The incident turned the pleasant fall afternoon into a terrifying sight.

The uncommon attack injured twelve more people, including a nine-month-old child whose mother was slain. On Monday, eight patients with illnesses ranging from critical to stable with four discharged in the past 24 hours, according to New South Wales’ Minister for Health Ryan Park.

  • Australia, Sydney mall attacker may have targeted women, police say, as more details emerge of his six victims

The only way the stabbing spree came to an end was when an officer, acting alone, tracked Cauchi down through the mall and shot him dead at the site.

Although the motive of the attacker is still unknown, New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb told ABC Breakfast News on Monday that the fact that the assailant seemed to be targeting women is “certainly a line of enquiry for us.”

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“The videos (of the attack) speak for themselves don’t they,” Webb said. “It’s obvious to me, it’s obvious to the detectives that that seems to be an area of interest, that the offender had focused on women and avoided the men.”

Police will continue to question witnesses and pursue many lines of inquiry, they cautioned, and the probe may take weeks.

Cauchi, who is from the nearby state of Queensland, was previously claimed by police to be well-known to them and to have “suffered from mental health [issues]” even though he had not been charged or punished in the state for any prior crimes.

woman cries as she comes out of the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall after a stabbing incident in Sydney on April 13 2024 David GrayAFPGetty Images

Australian national flags will fly at half-mast on government buildings on Monday, according to state premier Chris Minns, who also proclaimed it a national day of sorrow. Sydney’s Opera House will be decorated with black ribbon lighting in remembrance of the terror victims.

“Families are in mourning today, lives have been devastated as a result of these criminal actions,” Minns said. “The people who were killed were… innocent people who had their entire lives ahead of them. The community is devastated in the knowledge of their loss.”

On Monday, police announced that they had finished examining the mall and that Westfield was receiving the crime scene back. According to Yasmin Catley, the minister for police in New South Wales, more than 100 pieces of evidence were taken out and will be forensically examined as part of the inquiry.

9 months baby stabbed, “doing well”

More information about the six victims of Saturday’s incident is becoming available. These individuals included a Chinese student, a woman whose infant was also stabbed, and a security guard who was on his first day keeping watch at the mall that was struck.

Ashlee Good, 38, is one of the victims. Her family called her “a beautiful mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend, all round outstanding human and so much more” in a statement.

Following her critical condition ambulance ride to the hospital, Good passed away from her wounds. The attack also resulted in a stabbing to her nine-month-old daughter, who underwent emergency surgery that night.

“We can report that after hours of surgery yesterday our baby is currently doing well,” the family said in the statement.

Minister for Health Park said the whole country had been “holding its breath” for news of the baby’s condition. He said she had moved from critical to serious, which was “a significant improvement” and doctors hoped to move the baby onto a ward in the coming days.

“In the darkest of times comes sometimes the brightest of lights,” he said. “Staff have literally performed miracles and people are alive because of their efforts.”

The Good family said that “words cannot express our gratitude” to the “two men who held and cared for our baby when Ashlee could not.”

Earlier, two brothers told CNN station 9 News that they observed the woman and child had been stabbed and tried to aid by stopping the blood.

“We were holding the baby and trying to compress the baby,” one said.

The 30-year-old Faraz Tahir was also named as one of the deceased. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia released a statement describing him as a “integral member of our community, known for his unwavering dedication and kindness.”

According to the statement, Tahir is the only male victim and was working as a security guard at the mall when the attack occurred.

According to his friend Adnan Qadir of CNN station 7 News, it was his first day of work at that particular site.

“He was really excited. He had a lot of ambition for his future, just settling into his new country… He was looking forward to a stable career to make a family up here. And it’s just sad how it all ended up.”

According to the community, Tahir was a refugee who, a year ago, sought safety in Australia after fleeing persecution in his own Pakistan.

The incident also claimed the lives of Pikria Darchia, 55, Dawn Singleton, 25, and Jade Young, 47, an architect and mother of two, according to CNN station 9 News.

On Monday, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed to KIIS 1065 radio that Yixuan Cheng, a Chinese national enrolled in an Australian university, had been named as the sixth victim.

The incident claimed the life of one Chinese national and critically injured another, according to the Chinese Embassy in Australia.

Public contributions to online fundraisers established to support the families of the victims have started to come in for those who died.

Police officer  hailed as a “hero”

Authorities claim that the cop who shot the mall attacker undoubtedly saved more lives, and she has since been hailed as a hero for her efforts.

When she confronted the assailant, senior police inspector Amy Scott was by herself when she got on the scene. When he came at her with a knife, she shot him, according to the police.

Local media released a video of Scott performing CPR on the shooter after he was wounded.

Scott is a highly trained officer who “did what she was trained to do… We are very grateful to her,” said Yasmin Catley, New South Wales Minister for Police.

Police Commissioner Webb told ABC news that Scott was “doing ok” and “spending some time with her family.”

“She’s an experienced officer. I’ve known Amy for many years, she’s been operational her whole career,” Webb said.

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called Scott a hero who “no doubt saved lives.”

Authorities were aware that the mall attacker slept poorly.

According to the authorities, Cauchi, the assailant at the mall, was a “itinerant” who had been living on the streets or in his car for the previous few years.

He was “street checked” in December 2023, which was the last time Queensland Police dealt with him, Assistant Commissioner Roger Lowe of Queensland Police stated on Sunday.

“We think he’s been sleeping in cars or on bags. He stated, “His family doesn’t regularly communicate with their son.

People react outside the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall after a stabbing incident in Sydney on April 13 2024 David GrayAFPGetty Images

Lowe said Cauchi had “not been prosecuted or charged with any criminal offense in Queensland or found in possession of knives in the street checks.”

Cauchi’s family released a statement saying he “has battled with mental health issues” since he was a teenager.

“Joel’s actions were truly horrific, and we are still trying to comprehend what has happened,” the family said.

“We are in contact with both the New South Wales Police Force and Queensland Police Service and have no issues with the Police Officer who shot our son as she was only doing her job to protect others, and we hope she is coping alright,” the statement said.

Andrew Cauchi, the father of Joel Cauchi, told CNN affiliate 9 News that he was “heartbroken” for the families of the victims.

“I’m extremely sorry. I’m heartbroken for you. Look, this is so horrendous, that I can’t even explain it,” he said. “To you he’s a monster. To me, he was a very sick boy. He was a very sick boy.”

Public investigation

Premier Minns of New South Wales announced on Monday that an 18 million Australian dollar ($11.6 million) independent public inquiry has been initiated to examine the police response and criminal investigation into the incident, as well as the attacker’s relationships with the state government and health services.

Australia rarely has major casualties, and after the 1996 Port Arthur mass massacre, in which a lone shooter killed 35 people, gun ownership became highly regulated.

But according to criminologists and campaigners, violence against women is nonetheless pervasive and frequently goes unnoticed.

Since Counting Dead Women started recording deaths in 2012, the number of Australian women killed by violence has fluctuated between 43 and 84 annually. 24 women have perished violently already in 2024, according to the group

Following the rampage on Saturday, the administration announced that it was also considering modifying the regulations governing the presence of security officers in large, populated areas, such malls and hospitals.

However, Minns ruled out letting security personnel carry guns or stun guns and provided no further information.

“The government is not considering policy changes in relation to stun guns or firearms,” he said. “We don’t believe that more firearms in the community is a good decision, but we’re looking at the current restrictions that are in place for equipment, for security guards, and the resulting training that would be required if there was to be a policy change.”


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