PM’s horror at ‘shocking’ Bondi carnage

Four killed by an attacker at Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction after multiple people were stabbed on Saturday afternoon. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Anthony Albanese says the deadly attacks at Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre defy words and understanding.

Six people were killed and several others – including a nine-month-old baby – were stabbed before a heroic officer shot dead the perpetrator.

Speaking on Saturday night, the Prime Minister said Australians were reeling from the “horrific act of violence”.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed his horror at the Westfield Bondi rampage that has left at least six people dead. The gunman was shot dead by a police officer at the scene. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

“Tonight, the first thoughts of all Australians are with the victims of these terrible acts and their loved ones,” he said.

He said he had been heartened by the “humanity and heroism” of Australians.

“Our brave police, our first responders and of course, everyday people who could never have imagined that they would face such a moment,” he said.

“Australians … are brave, strong together

Thousands of people ran for their lives after an attacked stabbed several people at Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday afternoon. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Mr Albanese said the Commonwealth stands “ready to assist” in every way possible.

AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw said his force would help NSW police in their investigation.

“I want to reassure the community that the AFP is working with NSW police with whatever support is required,” he said.

Supplied Editorial A bystander armed with a bollard tries to stop the armed man on an escalator at Westfield Bondi. Picture : 9 News
The armed man was shot dead by police after stabbing several shoppers at Westfield Bondi. Picture: 9 NEWS
Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese and AFP Commissioner, Reece Kershaw held a press conference about the Bondi attacks at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

NSW Premier Chris Minns, currently on a family holiday, said in a statement he was returning to Sydney immediately.

“I am horrified to hear about the events at Bondi Junction this afternoon,” Mr Minns said.

“I am making immediate arrangements to return to Sydney.

“I want to thank NSW Police, emergency services and first responders and the community for their bravery in the face of this shocking incident.”

Acting Premier Penny Sharpe also responded to the attack.

“I am shocked at reports of multiple casualties at Bondi Junction late this afternoon,” the Premier said in a statement.

“My thoughts and those of the NSW government are with the victims, their families and first responders at this time, as well as those who may have witnessed these horrific events.

“I am receiving regular updates from NSW Police and emergency services, as well as from the Premier’s Department.”

Five people were killed by a lone attacker. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Federal opposition leader Peter Dutton said Australia was “grieving” for the five innocent victims but also praised the heroism.

“In the horror of this afternoon, there was also heroism,” he said.

“We thank the police officers and first responders who acted so quickly, put themselves in harm’s way, and saved others. In particular, the bravery of one female officer who neutralised the assailant.

“We thank the brave shop keepers and staff who helped shoppers shelter amidst the chaos.

“We thank everyday Australians who helped each other get to safety and those who provided comfort to others in distress.”
The NSW Opposition expressed shock and sadness.

“Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and loved ones,” the statement said.

“The NSW Opposition expresses our gratitude to our police, health workers, other first responders and members of the public, and particularly to those who displayed extraordinary bravery in the face of tragedy.

“We pray for the speedy recovery of those in hospital tonight.”

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