"Multiple casualties reported," says Australian PM after stabbing attack in Sydney shopping mall

Apr 13, 2024

Sydney [Australia], April 13 : Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Saturday said that multiple casualties have been reported from the Bondi Junction's Westfield shopping centre in which six people including a suspected attacker was killed.
Anthony Cooke, assistant commissioner of New South Wales Police Force, said that a man walked into the centre, left then returned at 3.20pm (local time) as he proceeded through the centre where he "engaged with about nine people".
Cooke said, "A single unit officer, inspector of police, was nearby, attended, (and) went into the centre directed by a range of people. "She confronted the offender who had moved, by this stage, to level five.
"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."
In an official post on X Anthony Albanese said he was briefed "on the devastating events at Bondi Junction. Tragically, multiple casualties have been reported and the first thoughts of all Australians are with those affected and their loved ones."
Further, he added, "Our hearts go out to those injured and we offer our thanks to those caring for them as well as our brave police and first responders."
Intial reports said at least four people were reported to be dead after a man entered a mall in Sydney's eastern suburbs on Saturday afternoon and began randomly shooting and stabbing people, local media reported.
The toll of casualties at Bondi Junction's Westfield shopping centre may extend further, with eight people, including a child, rushed to hospitals in Sydney, their conditions yet to be disclosed, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Chaos erupted around 4 pm (local time) with reports of multiple stabbings within the bustling shopping complex. Witnesses describe scenes of sheer terror as a man, reportedly armed with a knife, ran amok, leaving bystanders in a state of shock and confusion.
"We didn't really know where to go. We tried to go back in the other building but there were people running down that direction," recounted Hannah Bodrozic, who was shopping in Country Road at the time. "Then we heard three gunshots and everyone just started screaming.
"In a swift response, heavily armed tactical operations police descended upon the scene "Heavily armed tactical operations police responded and shot a male offender," as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
"Police responded to reports of multiple people stabbed at Bondi Westfield just before 4 pm," reported authorities.
Harrowing eyewitness accounts paint a picture of pandemonium within the shopping centre as terrified shoppers scrambled for safety. The sudden eruption of violence shattered the tranquility of the bustling retail hub, leaving scores of people traumatised and reeling from the ordeal.
"You'd never expect something like this in Sydney," remarked Guy Johnston, who witnessed the chaos unfold, according to local media reports.
The sheer scale of the incident has prompted a massive law enforcement response, with officers from various commands converging on the scene to secure the area and launch a thorough investigation, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.