The shopping centre massacre in Australia

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Sydney tragedy

Six people lost their lives during a knife attack at Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre.

Pikria Darchia, 55, originally from Tbilisi, Georgia, was among the people who died from their wounds. The Tbilisi State Art Academy graduate, Pikria was a local artist and designer who studied business administration at Sydney TAFE. She could speak English, Georgian, and Russian.


Pikria Darchia. Credit to Family handout/New South Wales Police/PA Wire/Metro UK
Pikria Darchia. Credit: Family handout/New South Wales Police/PA Wire/Metro UK


Dr Ashlee Good, 38, died saving her nine-month-old baby Harriet. According to the eyewitnesses' report, the doted mother's last act was to thrust her wounded daughter to a stranger begging him to save the baby after she was stabbed in her pram. Harriet is ‘doing well’ after undergoing hours of emergency surgery at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital.


Ashlee Good. Credit to Reuters
Ashlee Good, MD. Credit: Reuters


Dawn Singleton, 25, the daughter of prominent Australian businessman John "Singo" Singleton, was an employee at Clothing retailer White Fox Boutique.


Dawn Singleton. Credit to Metro UK via LinkedIn
Dawn Singleton. Credit: Metro UK via LinkedIn


Jade Young, 47, a member of the Bronte Surf Lifesaving Club in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, worked as an architect in Sydney. 


Jade Young. Credit to NSW Police
Jade Young. Credit: NSW Police


Yixuan Cheng, 27, a student from China, is the sixth victim of the Bondi stabbing.


Yixuan Cheng. Credit to SEVEN
Yixuan Cheng. Credit: SEVEN


Faraz Tahir, 30, a Pakistani national who fled persecution in his home country of Pakistan to seek refuge in Australia last year, worked at the Westfield Mall as a security guard.


Faraz Tahir. Credit to Metro UK
Faraz Tahir. Credit: Metro UK


Five women and a male security guard at the shopping centre died at the scene. Twelve other victims are receiving treatment in hospitals around Sydney for different injuries they sustained. They were admitted to St Vincent's Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital, and St George Hospital. The four are in intensive care units (ICU), one is critical but stable, one is serious but stable, one is critical, and seven are stable. Little Harriet is at Sydney Children's Hospital and is in ICU in a serious but stable condition.


NSW Police at Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday afternoon. Credit to ABC News
NSW Police at Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday afternoon. Credit: ABC News


Police said they do not think the lone knifeman who attacked shoppers on Saturday afternoon was motivated by terrorism. Joel Cauchi, 40, has never been arrested or charged with an offence but had come into contact with police in recent years when his mental health declined. Originally from Queensland, he moved to Sydney just a month before his brutal attack.


Security footage showing the attacker holding a knife in the shopping mall. Credit to Metro UK
Security footage shows the attacker holding a knife in the shopping mall. Credit: Metro UK


The attacker’s family have released a statement saying they have ‘no issue’ with the actions of the senior police officer who shot him dead and saved many lives, saying: "She was only doing her job to protect others and we hope she is coming alright. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims and those still undergoing treatment at this time. Joel’s actions were truly horrific and we are still trying to comprehend what has happened. He has battled with mental health issues since he was a teenager."


Inspector Amy Scott (L), Jason Dickson (R). Credit to ABC News Australia
Inspector Amy Scott (L), Jason Dickson (R). Credit: ABC News Australia


NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott confronted the Bondi Junction mass murderer who ran towards her with a 'big blade' the moment he saw her. Jason Dickson, a former police officer, who eyewitnessed the entire scene, later recalled: "All I heard was 'Put it down' and then she shot him. Then she walked over and gave him CPR and she chucked the knife away... He looked like he was on a killing spree... She did her duty and I'm proud of her." Inspector Scott has been hailed for her professionalism and instinctive bravery in running towards danger. "I'm sure that there are many committees to run through before someone's actually given a hero award or a bravery award. But I think we can call it. This is outstanding courage and bravery under incredibly difficult circumstances. And her actions yesterday saved many, many lives," NSW Premier Chris Minns said.


Damien Guerot (L) and Silas Despreaux (R). Credit to Sky News screengrab
Damien Guerot (L) and Silas Despreaux (R). Credit: Sky News screengrab


Damien Guerot, 31, a French construction worker, was seen on CCTV at the top of an escalator with a plastic bollard, confronting the attacker who stood a few metres lower, and kept people on his floor safe. His actions earned him the nickname "Bollard Man" on social media. He was also seen running with a plastic chair towards Cauchi behind Inspector Amy Scott. Mr Guerot's colleague and fellow French national, Silas Despreaux, had also chased the killer and threw a barrier post at him but this part did not appear on the footage. Both Frenchmen were present when the Inspector shot the knifeman.


PM Anthony Albanese visited Muhammad Taha in the hospital. Credit to The Australian
PM Anthony Albanese visited Muhammad Taha in the hospital. Credit: The Australian


Australian PM Anthony Albanese addressed Mr Guerot during the news conference on Monday: "You are welcome to stay for as long as you like." And praised his 'extraordinary bravery'. Although the prime minister had no power to grant citizenship, Damien Guerot's new status was confirmed on Thursday.


Security guard Muhammad Taha. Credit to ABC News Australia
Security guard Muhammad Taha. Credit: ABC News Australia


Pakistani security guard Muhammad Taha was among the others who helped the customers that day. Mr Taha was stabbed in the stomach while trying to help his colleague, Faraz Tahir, who was killed in the attack. Mr Taha held a temporary visa due to expire within weeks when the federal government granted him a permanent resident visa after he showed an 'extraordinary courage' and put the safety of others before his own, as PM stated. Currently, Mr Taha remains in the hospital, recovering.


Floral tributes are laid outside Westfield Bondi Junction. Credit to Reuters
Floral tributes are laid outside Westfield Bondi Junction. Credit: Reuters


15 April was declared the day of national mourning to honour the victims. On Monday, flags flew at half-mast on government buildings around Australia and a black ribbon appeared on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.


Crowds gathered on Bondi Beach to honour victims of Bondi Junction attack. Credit to ABC News Australia
Crowds gathered on Bondi Beach to honour victims of Bondi Junction attack. Credit: ABC News Australia


On 21 April, hundreds of people lit a candle at Bondi Beach at a sombre sunset vigil for the six victims of last weekend's violent attack at Bondi Junction shopping centre. Families of the victims were among the mourners. Dozens of NSW Police officers, including Inspector Amy Scott, attended Sunday's vigil. A female police officer handed out candles to those who did not have one. The Café of the Gate of Salvation, an a Capella gospel choir, sang 'Keep Your Loving Arms Around Me'.