Westfield Bondi Junction stabbing: Man shot dead by police after six shoppers killed

A baby was among those injured in a horrifying mass stabbing that has rocked Australia.

WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT: Six people have been killed in a terrifying mass stabbing at a busy Sydney Westfield shopping centre on Saturday.

A senior female officer who was first to arrive on the scene shot the male perpetrator dead after he stabbed his victims with what one witness described as a "big blade". She was led to the man by brave shoppers after he made his way up several floors.

Emergency services rushed to Bondi Junction Westfield after the stabbing spree was first reported shortly after 3pm. Panicked shoppers were seen running for their lives, many in tears at what had just unfolded, while others were forced to hide in stores to escape the horror, which one witness described as "carnage".

Families walk out of the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall after a stabbing incident in Sydney on April 13, 2024. Australian police on April 13 said they had received reports that
A family in tears in the aftermath of the attack. Source: Getty

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb revealed five of the deceased are female, one who later died in hospital. She said eight people remain in hospital, including a baby who is undergoing surgery. Commissioner Webb said police believe the knifeman to be a 40-year-old individual known to police but he has yet to be formally identified.

"If it is the person we believe it is, then we don't have fears for that person holding an ideation," she said.

Ambulances and police cars outside the shopping centre. Source: ABC
Ambulances and police cars outside the shopping centre. Source: ABC
The female officer who shot the male perpetrator dead has been widely hailed as a hero. Source: X
The female officer who shot the male perpetrator dead has been widely hailed as a hero. Source: X

Knifeman acted alone, police stress

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke told reporters they are confident the man acted alone, following incorrect reports there was a second perpetrator. Police crews remain at the scene, while armed officers earlier took to the building's roof.

"I am content that there is no continuing threat," Assistant Commissioner Cooke said. He said there was “nothing that we are aware of at the scene that would indicate any motive or any ideology".

He said the lone senior officer likely saved many lives with her bravery.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw told reporters it is too early to categorically determine whether or not the incident was terror-related.

NSW Police said in an earlier statement people are still urged to avoid the area.

A knifeman in a green and yellow rugby jersey holds a knife in Bondi Junction Westfield
One video circulating on social media shows the man running along a floor of the shopping centre. Source: X

Baby among eight taken to hospital

NSW Ambulance confirmed they transported eight people to hospital, including a nine-month-old baby.

“Two have gone to St Vincents, one baby has gone to Sydney children’s, one has gone to St George, one has gone to Royal North shore, two have gone to RPA," a spokesperson said.

Two brothers said they rushed to help a bleeding woman and baby inside. “We got them into the store... and rang for help,” one of the men told Nine News. They said both had been stabbed and they tried to stem their bleeding with garments from the store.

A patient is taken to an ambulance outside the Westfield shopping centre. Source: ABC
A patient is taken to an ambulance outside the Westfield shopping centre. Source: ABC

Video shows man with knife

Sirens were heard ringing out of the shopping centre which underwent an "emergency evacuation". Vision on social media shows distressed people fleeing the building. One video shows at least four officers attending to a person behind a white screen.

Several videos show a man in an old Kangaroos rugby league jersey holding a knife inside the shopping centre. In one video he is on an escalator with a man at the top attempting to hold him off with a bollard.

A separate video shows the man running through the shopping centre, lunging at one person while another squares up to him, forcing him to flee in the opposite direction.

One witness told the ABC they saw a man in a green shirt begin stabbing people "indiscriminately" outside the Country Road store. "It was carnage," he said. The man said he gave his young kids to his wife and tried to help the victims amid loud screams. He said it was not long after until shots were heard.

Commissioner Webb said the crime scene at Westfield is "extensive" and the shopping centre will be closed on Sunday.

Video shows a man trying to stall a man holding a knife on an escalator. Source: X
Video shows a man trying to stall a man holding a knife on an escalator. Source: X

Bondi Junction shoppers left crying as they hid in stores

One mother waiting for the lift to enter the shopping centre from the underground car park told Yahoo she saw customers rushing past her, holding children. "They were screaming that people had been stabbed. I feel sick in my stomach," she said.

Other eyewitnesses say they heard gunshots, according to the ABC. A shopper named Roy told the ABC he was in a store when he heard two shots ring out. He initially hid in a changing room and was later led out a fire exit by a staff member onto the street below.

Police crews rushed to the scene. Source: Supplied
Police crews rushed to the scene. Source: Supplied
Members of the public look on outside Westfield Bondi Junction on April 13, 2024 in Bondi Junction, Australia. Five victims, plus the offender, are confirmed dead following an incident at Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction, Sydney.
Onlookers stand outside the shopping centre as police remain on scene heading into the evening. Source: Getty

Shopper Ben told Yahoo he had made it to his vehicle and was driving off when traffic came to a halt "while a dozen emergency vehicles rushed passed". "Everyone was really confused and there was a lot of panic," he said.

One witness, a woman called Mackenzie, told Yahoo News Australia that she was shopping in Glue Store with a friend when the lights went off and the door was shut.

“Sirens were going off and the mall was saying ‘evacuate now’. They said someone is running around the mall stabbing people so get into the back room. I was very confused. We all ran into the store room and waited for five minutes, some people were crying and shaken up," she said.

Mackenzie said after five minutes, the doors were reopened and there were “huge crowds” outside the Westfield.

Witness describes moment 'hero' cop shot knifeman

Cafe worker Ayush Singh, 25, told The Daily Telegraph he saw "a guy with a knife running…to the cafe that I work".

"He wasn’t saying anything he was just running with a knife," he said. "I didn’t hear him say anything.

"I saw him right before he was neutralised by the police."

Another horrified witness described the moment the female officer took down the knifeman with a single bullet.

As he was walking away, she walked behind him quickly to catch up before yelling at him, prompting him to turn and advance towards her.

"All she said was 'Put it down'. Just once. Then she shot him in the chest and he went down," 52-year-old shopper Jason Dixon told the publication.

Albanese addresses 'devastating' mass stabbing

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Premier Chris Minns have expressed their horror at the deadly attack on shoppers at Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Shopping Centre.

Albanese said the Australian Federal Police had briefed him 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," he said on X.

“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.”

Later addressing reporters, he called the female officer who was first on the scene "a hero" who saved many lives.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese addressed reporters about the tragic attack. Source: ABC
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese addressed reporters about the tragic attack. Source: ABC

NSW Premier Chris Minns is returning from his holidays following the attacks.

"I am horrified to hear about the events at Bondi Junction this afternoon,” he 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."

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