Home » Revealed: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed five women and one man in Westfield shopping centre bloodbath ‘was known to police’ and targeted screaming mum and her baby first before unleashing 15 minutes of horror until lone female cop shot him dead

Revealed: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed five women and one man in Westfield shopping centre bloodbath ‘was known to police’ and targeted screaming mum and her baby first before unleashing 15 minutes of horror until lone female cop shot him dead

The knifeman who killed five women and one man during a rampage in Sydney today was ‘known to police’.

Six people were killed and three more stabbed during the horrific attack in that left multiple people critically injured including a mother and her baby on the start of the Australian school holidays.

Four women and one man died at the scene and another woman died in hospital. Other victims critically injured in the attack at Bondi Junction Westfield mall at around 3.30pm local time included a mother and her nine-month-old baby. 

The attacker was in the mall at 3pm but left and returned at 3.20pm with a knife. He attacked the mother and child at 3.30pm before police arrived at 3.45pm and the mall was placed under lockdown at 4pm. 

The baby is undergoing surgery in hospital. The motive was not immediately clear and police have not ruled out terrorism.

He was shot and killed by a hero female police officer, who apprehended the knifeman alone after being on patrol nearby.

The Sydney knifeman was a 40-year-old and his attack is not thought to be terror-related, New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb said.

The knifeman who killed five women and one man during a rampage in Sydney today was ‘known to police’ 

The knifeman was reportedly shot dead by a female police officer

The knifeman was reportedly shot dead by a female police officer

The attacker was seen running in the mall with a knife in his hand

The attacker was in the mall at 3pm but left and returned at 3.20pm with a knife. He attacked the mother and child at 3.30pm before police arrived at 3.45pm and the mall was placed under lockdown at 4pm

The attacker was in the mall at 3pm but left and returned at 3.20pm with a knife. He attacked the mother and child at 3.30pm before police arrived at 3.45pm and the mall was placed under lockdown at 4pm

Ms Webb told a press conference: ‘Later this evening we became aware of who we believe the offender is and we believe that he is a 40-year-old man.

‘However, we are waiting to formally identify him and we cannot speculate yet on his identification.

‘But let me assure you that we are confident that there is no ongoing risk and we are dealing with one person who is now deceased.’

She added: ‘If in fact it is the person that we believe it is, then we don’t have fears for that person holding an ideation – in other words, that it’s not a terrorism incident.

‘He is known to law enforcement but we are waiting to identify him formally.’

Speaking about the heroic cop, Commissioner Webb said she was ‘doing well under the circumstances’.

Webb added: ‘She showed enormous courage and bravery… we just talked [and] she’s OK, her family is OK. She’s got everything she needs for the time being.’

The officer will be interviewed formally tomorrow about what happened.

Multiple other shoppers have been injured in the attack and taken to hospitals across the city.

The baby is being treated at Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick. Another victim was rushed to St George Hospital and someone else to Royal North Shore Hospital.

Three were taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst and two more to the Royal Prince Alfred in Camperdown.

Bystanders said they had seen multiple people outside the shopping centre in the city’s eastern suburbs with blood on their clothes.

Shoppers run though Bondi Junction as police lock down the centre following reports of a major incident

Shoppers run though Bondi Junction as police lock down the centre following reports of a major incident

Anthony Cooke, assistant commissioner of New South Wales Police, said: ‘A man walked into Westfield at Bondi Junction, he left the centre very shortly after and returned… as he moved through the centre he engaged with about nine people.

‘It is clear that during that engagement he caused harm to those people, we believe by stabbing them with a weapon he was carrying.

‘Very clearly a range of reports were made on the incident, police attended promptly – 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.’

He added: ‘I’m advised that there are five victims who are now deceased as a result of the actions of this offender.

‘There are more than several other people who have been conveyed to hospital – a number of those are in serious and or critical conditions at this stage and I do not have further information in relation to descriptions of those people.

‘I know one of them is a small child.’

It was later confirmed that six people died in the attack. 

Mr Cooke said: ‘I am content that there is no continuing threat; our police, as I said, have commenced investigations into the matter which will continue through the evening.

‘I do not have details of victims who have been killed by this individual, nor those who have been conveyed to hospital for treatment – so I cannot provide you further information into relation to them, only to say very clearly our hearts go out to all of them, as they do (to) anyone touched by this incident this afternoon.

‘I do not have information in relation to the offender – I do not know, at this stage, who he is, you would understand this is quite raw.

‘Inquiries are very new and we continue to make attempts to identify the offender in this matter.

‘That is it for the moment, in terms of information that I have for you.’

Commissioner Reece Kershaw said Australia’s Federal Police would support New South Wales Police as they investigated the attack. 

He said: ‘The AFP has deployed AFP members to the crime scene and we’ve offered our full specialist capabilities such as digital forensics,’ he said.

‘It is too early to determine a motive and it would be unhelpful to speculate.’

An eyewitness described the police officer shooting the attacker to state broadcaster ABC.

‘If she did not shoot him, he would have kept going, he was on the rampage,’ said the man, who did not give his name. ‘She went over and was giving him CPR. He had a nice big blade on him. He looked like he was on a killing spree.’

A spokesman for New South Wales Ambulance told a press conference: ‘Shortly after 3pm today, New South Wales Ambulance received multiple calls for persons stabbed within Westfield Bondi Junction.

‘We’ve responded a total of 40 resources to the scene who remain on scene still. That included a total of four medical teams.

‘New South Wales Ambulance assessed and transported eight patients to various hospital facilities across Sydney and assessed a total of six patients who have been deemed deceased on scene.’

The stabbing happened at Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre, which went into lockdown just before 4pm on Saturday

The stabbing happened at Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre, which went into lockdown just before 4pm on Saturday

Multiple other shoppers have been injured in the attack, it has been reported

Multiple other shoppers have been injured in the attack, it has been reported

Paramedics have taken two people to hospital in ambulances so far, while bystanders have seen multiple people outside the shopping centre with blood on their clothes

Paramedics have taken two people to hospital in ambulances so far, while bystanders have seen multiple people outside the shopping centre with blood on their clothes

Police have cordoned off the shopping centre in Sydney

Police have cordoned off the shopping centre in Sydney

Shoppers enjoying a day out today were evacuated from the mall

Shoppers enjoying a day out today were evacuated from the mall

State broadcaster ABC reported some people remained trapped inside. Two witnesses told Reuters they heard shots fired

State broadcaster ABC reported some people remained trapped inside. Two witnesses told Reuters they heard shots fired

One witness said: 'Even 20 minutes after people were rushed out of the mall, I saw SWAT teams of people sweeping the surrounding streets'

One witness said: ‘Even 20 minutes after people were rushed out of the mall, I saw SWAT teams of people sweeping the surrounding streets’

After the stabbings, The Prince and Princess of Wales said they were 'shocked and saddened', adding that their thoughts are with those affected and the 'heroic emergency responders who risked their own lives to save others'

After the stabbings, The Prince and Princess of Wales said they were ‘shocked and saddened’, adding that their thoughts are with those affected and the ‘heroic emergency responders who risked their own lives to save others’

After the stabbings, King Charles and Queen Camilla said they were ‘utterly shocked and horrified’ by the ‘senseless attack’ in Sydney and their ‘hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who have been so brutally killed’.

The Prince and Princess of Wales said they were ‘shocked and saddened’, adding that their thoughts are with those affected and the ‘heroic emergency responders who risked their own lives to save others’. 

People at the scene said there was panic, with shoppers running to safety and police trying to secure the area. 

Several people took shelter in a supermarket, where they remained for about an hour.

The sound of police sirens and helicopters filled the air.

Security camera footage broadcast by local media showed a man running around the shopping centre with a large knife and injured people lying on the floor.

A tearful witness told Sky News: ‘Who does that to people? I saw a woman lying on the floor.

‘I didn’t see him properly, I was running. It was insane. I thought I was going to die.’ 

Police and ambulance staff rushed to the scene earlier today

Police and ambulance staff rushed to the scene earlier today

Specialist police officers with rifles were seen in the shopping centre

Specialist police officers with rifles were seen in the shopping centre

The two brothers used clothing and shirts from a shop to try and stop the baby's bleeding

The two brothers used clothing and shirts from a shop to try and stop the baby’s bleeding

Masked an armed police officers also rushed to the scene

Masked an armed police officers also rushed to the scene 

Anthony Cooke, assistant commissioner of New South Wales Police, said: 'A man walked into Westfield at Bondi Junction, he left the centre very shortly after and returned... as he moved through the centre he engaged with about nine people'

Anthony Cooke, assistant commissioner of New South Wales Police, said: ‘A man walked into Westfield at Bondi Junction, he left the centre very shortly after and returned… as he moved through the centre he engaged with about nine people’

He added: 'It is clear that during that engagement he caused harm to those people, we believe by stabbing them with a weapon he was carrying'

He added: ‘It is clear that during that engagement he caused harm to those people, we believe by stabbing them with a weapon he was carrying’

He said: 'Very clearly a range of reports were made on the incident, police attended promptly - a single unit officer, inspector of police, was nearby, attended, [and] went into the centre directed by a range of people.

Mr Cooke said: ‘Very clearly a range of reports were made on the incident, police attended promptly – a single unit officer, inspector of police, was nearby, attended, [and] went into the centre directed by a range of people’

He said: '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'

He said: ‘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’

He added: 'I'm advised that there are five victims who are now deceased as a result of the actions of this offender.' It was later confirmed that six people died in the attack

He added: ‘I’m advised that there are five victims who are now deceased as a result of the actions of this offender.’ It was later confirmed that six people died in the attack

A large police presence has remained at the scene of the fatal stabbing

A large police presence has remained at the scene of the fatal stabbing

Witnesses said the dark-haired man, wearing a Kangaroos NRL jersey, slashed at least eight shoppers before he was shot by a female police officer. No-one else is being sought by police.

A hero who rushed to help a mother and nine-month-old baby after they were stabbed by a knifeman at Westfield Bondi Junction has told how he desperately worked to keep the infant alive using store clothes. 

A witness interrupted a Nine News reporter performing a live cross in Bondi Junction and pointed to his brother, saying: ‘He’s a hero – he saved the baby’. 

The clearly shaken hero said he used clothes from a store to try and stem the baby’s bleeding.

‘The baby got stabbed and, yeah, the mum got stabbed,’ he said.

‘The mum came over with the baby and threw it at me. 

‘I just helped by holding the baby… and trying to compress the baby.’

The brothers stayed with the mother and called emergency services.  

‘(It was) very bad… a lot of the blood on the floor … hope the baby’s alright,’ the other brother said.

The injured mum had blood coming out of her mouth, he said. 

It is understood the baby is undergoing surgery and the mother is in a critical condition in hospital

Another witness, a worker at the shopping centre, recalled seeing a mother screaming on the level above.

‘I see a mother and maybe her partner with a baby in a pram,’ she told Nine News.

Police ¿ including the Tactical Operations Unit ¿ and ambulances have attended the scene, with people seen screaming and crying out the front of the complex

Police – including the Tactical Operations Unit – and ambulances have attended the scene, with people seen screaming and crying out the front of the complex

Pictures and videos from the incident have been uploaded on X including one photo showing the alleged attacker casually riding an escalator while holding a large knife

Pictures and videos from the incident have been uploaded on X including one photo showing the alleged attacker casually riding an escalator while holding a large knife

A young witness currently locked inside a store - said she has heard gunshots and 'blood-curdling' screams

A young witness currently locked inside a store – said she has heard gunshots and ‘blood-curdling’ screams

Earlier panicked people were seen running across the pedestrian bridge outside the centre in video posted to social media

Earlier panicked people were seen running across the pedestrian bridge outside the centre in video posted to social media

‘She’s screaming really, really loudly. She’s running back and forth not knowing what to do.

‘Then she comes back to the pram and picks up her baby and there’s just blood all over her back.

‘The scream was unforgettable, it was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.

‘My co-worker took me, we locked all the doors, had to turn off all the lights and doors’. 

Police – including the Tactical Operations Unit – and ambulances have attended the scene, with people seen screaming and crying out the front of the complex.

Pictures and videos from the incident have been uploaded on X including one photo showing the alleged attacker casually riding an escalator while holding a large knife.

A young witness currently locked inside a store – said she has heard gunshots and ‘blood-curdling’ screams.

‘We are absolutely terrified,’ she said.

Earlier panicked people were seen running across the pedestrian bridge outside the centre in video posted to social media.

Others said they were being evacuated from the centre’s car park. 

Police are attending the scene in numbers and Australian Federal Police are liaising with NSW officials in case the joint counter terrorism team is needed.

Authorities are investigating possible motives for the attack and have warned people not to jump to conclusions. 

Footage of the incident showed the attacker running after large crowds of people as others watched on from the floor above. 

As the attacker closes in one hero dad turns around to stop the man’s and protect his wife and two children.

Another video captured one man armed with a small metal pole trying to fend off the attacker.

The shopper was standing at the top of an escalator threatening to throw the pole at the attacker who was on his way up as the two held their ground. 

Eastern suburbs local Ted Helliar posted to X: ‘Something just went down at Westfields Bondi junction.’ 

‘We were up there and all of a sudden all these people running towards us. Next thing dozens and dozens of people all running a screaming some bloke yells ‘someone is stabbing everyone get out of here’.’

Another person whose friend had a daughter in the complex at the time of the alleged stabbing shared screenshots of her messages online.

‘We just heard gunshots,’ the daughter texted.

‘Get to cover,’ her parent replied.

‘Please, please be safe.’ 

Westfield Bondi Junction is in lockdown after the incident on Saturday afternoon

Westfield Bondi Junction is in lockdown after the incident on Saturday afternoon

Shoppers trapped inside the complex were desperately messaging their loved ones to let them know they were alright

Shoppers trapped inside the complex were desperately messaging their loved ones to let them know they were alright

Another X user said hundreds of shoppers were hiding in the back of the David Jones department store, which had pulled down its shutters with reports a man had been seen running with a gun in the centre.

A police spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Saturday afternoon that a major police operation is under way and officers were gathering details at the scene.

State broadcaster ABC reported some people remained trapped inside. Two witnesses told Reuters they heard shots fired.

Witness Roi Huberman, an ABC sound engineer, told the network that he sheltered in a store during the incident.

People at the scene said there was panic, with shoppers running to safety and police trying to secure the area

People at the scene said there was panic, with shoppers running to safety and police trying to secure the area

Several people took shelter in a supermarket, where they remained for about an hour. The sound of police sirens and helicopters filled the air

Several people took shelter in a supermarket, where they remained for about an hour. The sound of police sirens and helicopters filled the air

State broadcaster ABC reported some people remained trapped inside. Two witnesses told Reuters they heard shots fired

State broadcaster ABC reported some people remained trapped inside. Two witnesses told Reuters they heard shots fired

Witness Roi Huberman, an ABC sound engineer, told the network that he sheltered in a store during the incident

Witness Roi Huberman, an ABC sound engineer, told the network that he sheltered in a store during the incident

‘And suddenly we heard a shot or maybe two shots and 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 then let us through the back and now we are out.’

One witness said: ‘Even 20 minutes after people were rushed out of the mall, I saw SWAT teams of people sweeping the surrounding streets.’

Another said they saw a woman lying on the ground and took shelter in a jewellery store.

SWAT teams with rifles were seen accompanying police after the attack

SWAT teams with rifles were seen accompanying police after the attack

Another witness said they saw a woman lying on the ground and took shelter in a jewellery store

Another witness said they saw a woman lying on the ground and took shelter in a jewellery store

Several posts on social media showed crowds fleeing the mall and police cars and emergency services rushing to the area. 

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese posted on X just after 6pm on Saturday following the stabbing attack.

‘I have been briefed by the AFP 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.

‘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.’

Premier of New South Wales, Chris Minns, said he is is making ‘immediate arrangements’ to return to Sydney following the shopping centre stabbings.

He said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter: ‘I am horrified to hear about the events at Bondi Junction this afternoon.

‘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.’

A history of violent crimes in Australia 

An attacker who fatally knifed six people in a Sydney mall on Saturday before being shot dead by police in Sydney’s beachside suburb of Bondi.

Such violent crimes are rare in Australia, a country of about 26 million people, which implemented one of the world’s toughest gun laws more than two decades ago.

This is a list of some of the country’s major violent attacks:

April 1996

Lone gunman Martin Bryant went on a shooting spree at a cafe and tourist site at the former colonial prison of Port Arthur in the island state of Tasmania, killing 35 people. He used military-style weapons that he had bought without background checks. The incident prompted Australia to implement some of the world’s toughest gun laws.

December 2014

Three people, including attacker Man Haron Monis, were killed when police stormed a cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place to free hostages held at gunpoint for 16 hours. Monis, a self-styled sheikh from Iran who received political asylum in 2001, was well known to Australian authorities, having been charged as an accessory to murder and with dozens of counts of sexual and indecent assault.

January 2017

A man deliberately drove into pedestrians, killing five and injuring more than 20, in Melbourne. Police said the incident was not terrorism-related. The 26-year-old had a history of family violence. Authorities later installed 140 concrete posts in the city centre.

December 2017

Afghan former refugee Saeed Noori, 32, deliberately sped up and drove into dozens of pedestrians crossing the road at one of the busiest intersections in Melbourne’s central business district, injuring 19. Police said they did not believe the incident was terror-related.

November 2018

An attacker in Melbourne was shot by police after he set fire to a pickup truck laden with gas cylinders in the city centre and stabbed three people, killing one. The attacker died in hospital. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.