Spread the love

Australia: knife attacker appears to have targeted women, police say

Australian police said Monday to investigate why the attacker appears to have targeted women as a priority during a stabbing attack that left six people dead and several injured on Saturday in a Sydney shopping center.

Five of the six victims killed by Joel Cauchi, a 40-year-old mentally ill man, are women, as are most of those injured.

“It's obvious to me, and to the investigators, that this is a point of interest: the attacker focused on women and avoided men,” said Karen Webb, police commissioner of New South Wales on national television network ABC.

“The videos speak for themselves, don’t they,” she noted, referring to “a lead in the investigation.”

Videos posted on social media show the attacker chasing mostly women during his attack on the crowded Westfield shopping center in Bondi Junction on Saturday.

But Ms Webb stressed that the police could not know what was going through the assailant's mind.

” This is why it is important that investigators spend time interviewing those who know him.”

Joel Cauchi's Facebook profile indicates that he is from Toowoomba , near Brisbane (east), and that he attended a high school and university in the region.

His parents claimed he had suffered from mental illness since he was a teenager.

– Chinese victim identified –

The last of the six victims of this attack was identified on Monday as Yixuan Cheng, a young Chinese student at the University of Sydney.

The other women killed were a fashion designer, a volunteer surf lifesaver, the daughter of an entrepreneur and a young mother whose critically injured nine-month-old baby was to the hospital.

The mother, Ashlee Good, 38, entrusted her bleeding little daughter to strangers before being rushed to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

Australia: knife attacker appears to have targeted women, police say

Security perimeter established by police around the Sydney shopping center where a knife attack left six dead, April 14, 2024 © AFP – DAVID GRAY

The only man killed was Faraz Tahir, a 30-year-old Pakistani who worked as a security guard.

Eight people injured in the attack remain hospitalized, some in critical condition. Four other injured people were released from hospital.

After a half-hour rampage of violence, the attacker was pursued and shot dead by a police officer, Amy Scott, hailed for her heroism.< /p>

Joel Cauchi's parents called their son's actions “truly horrible” and expressed solidarity with the victims. “We are still trying to understand what happened,” they said in a statement.

They also sent a message to the policewoman who killed their son. “She was just doing her job to protect others and we hope she does well.”

According to police, Joel Cauchi went to Sydney about a month ago and rented a small storage space that held a few personal belongings, including a surfboard. Homeless, he lived in a vehicle and in youth hostels, and had only sporadic contact with his family.

– Tributes to the victims –

In tribute to the victims, bouquets of flowers were left by the public in front of the Bondi shopping center. Flags across the country were lowered to half-mast as a sign of mourning.

The Sydney Opera House will be illuminated with a black ribbon in the evening.

Australia: knife attacker appears to have targeted women, police say

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (C) pays tribute to victims of the stabbing attack at a Sydney shopping center, with other officials, April 14, 2024 © AFP – DAVID GRAY

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he spoke with the families of several victims. “The gender of the victims is of course worrying,” he told ABC radio, promising an “exhaustive” police investigation.

The Prime Minister also denounced the spread of false information after the attack. On social networks, Internet users falsely attributed the attack to terrorism and an Australian television channel had to apologize for having wrongly identified a 20-year-old student as the author of the attack.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116