No motive found yet for killer shot dead after stabbing 6 people to death at Sydney mall, Latest World News - The New Paper

No motive found yet for killer shot dead after stabbing 6 people to death at Sydney mall

SYDNEY – Police in Sydney have yet to uncover the motive of a mass murderer who went on a stabbing spree at a shopping mall on April 13, killing six people and bringing Australia’s largest city to a standstill.

The attack began at around 3.20pm when a man armed with a knife started stabbing people at the Westfield mall in Bondi Junction, a well-known shopping centre that is close to the popular Bondi beach.

He continued his attack – apparently calmly – as he moved to different levels of the centre, sending terrified shoppers scrambling for safety. Many locked themselves inside shops or hid inside storerooms. 

The man, who was wearing an Australian rugby league team T-shirt, killed five women and a man, and injured eight others, before being shot and killed by a lone police officer.

The officer, who happened to be near the shopping centre and had rushed to the scene, chased down the man and shot him after he turned to face her and raised his knife.

She was later hailed as a “hero” by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who said she had prevented further deaths.

Police said on the night of April 13 that they did not believe the incident was a terrorist attack, but were still investigating.

The man was 40 years old and known to police, but was not suspected to harbour terrorist beliefs, police said.

“There is nothing we are aware of at the scene that would indicate any motive or any ideology,” Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke of New South Wales Police told reporters.

Police said the attacker had apparently been acting alone, and that closed-circuit television footage showed him entering the mall at 3.10pm and leaving shortly thereafter, before returning again.


The victims included a mother, who was killed, and her nine-month-old baby, who was taken to hospital after being stabbed in the stomach.

A witness told Nine News the man “wasn’t going for anyone personally”.

“It looked quite random, he was just running around with his knife,” the witness said.

The attack brought terror to a relatively safe city whose residents typically do not live in fear of serious security threats.

Australia has some of the world’s toughest gun and knife laws, and its terrorism threat level was lowered in 2022 to “possible”, which is the second-lowest of five ratings and indicates that the authorities believe “there are fewer violent extremists (than previously) with the intention to conduct an attack onshore”.

But the attack in Bondi Junction, about 6km from the central business district, brought instant fear that reverberated across the city.

Helicopters could be heard circling above the mall as sirens blared from dozens of police and ambulance vehicles that rushed to the scene. The city’s residents were advised to stay away as the mall was locked down.

Mr Ayush Singh, 25, had been working in a cafe in the mall when he saw the attack.

“I saw the guy with the knife running and chasing people,” he told Reuters.

“As he walked just past me, I heard two or three gunshots, and the guy was neutralised. People around me were terrified. There were some old ladies, I helped to get them inside a safe place inside the cafe.”


The attack was the worst mass killing in Sydney since an arson attack at a nursing home in 2011 killed 11 people.

It also revived memories of a siege at a cafe in the city centre in 2014 by a crazed gunman who killed two people before being shot by police.

Mr Albanese described the attack as a “horrific act of violence” that targeted people indiscriminately as they were shopping on “an ordinary Saturday”.

He told reporters on the night of April 13 that he had been briefed by the Australian Federal Police and the domestic spy agency.

“For all of us tonight, the devastating scenes at Bondi Junction are beyond words or understanding,” he said.

“We understand that the Australian public will be very shocked by this event... The motives are not known yet. And speculation on that would not be helpful at this time.”

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb told reporters the man had not yet been formally identified, but was known to police.

“We know a little bit about this person, but we are waiting to confirm his identification,” she said.

“If, in fact, it is the person we think it is... it is not a terrorism incident.”

A young woman who had been shopping at the mall told Sky News she heard a woman screaming, “help me, help me”, and then saw police running into the centre before hearing four gunshots.

“As soon as the gunshots went off, everyone just ran into the shops,” she said. “We went to the back (of a department store) and ran into a locked room. Then we had to evacuate, and people were running onto the streets.” 

Ms Pranjul Bokaria, who had been shopping when the attack occurred, told AFP she ran to a nearby shop and took shelter in a break room.

She said she escaped to a backstreet through an emergency exit with other shoppers and staff, describing a scene of “chaos” as people ran from the mall and police swarmed the area. “I am alive and grateful,” she said.

Police said the mall will be shut on April 14.

Several journalists happened to be among the shoppers at the mall when the attack began, including an SBS News reporter who began live-streaming a report from outside.

Another member of the media, Mr Roi Huberman, a sound engineer for ABC News, said he was in a shop at the mall when he heard several gunshots.

“We didn’t know what to do,” he said. “Then the very capable person in the store took us to the back where it can be locked. She then locked the store, and then she let us through the back, and now we are out.”

The owner of a salon in the mall, Ms Leanne Devine, told ABC News she had become aware of the attack when she saw “hundreds and hundreds of people” running out of the centre.

“It was absolutely horrific,” she said. “We are in shock mode. We are traumatised.”

AustraliacrimeMURDER/MANSLAUGHTERpoliceAnthony Albanese