Sydney stabbing live updates: Westfield Bondi Junction attack leaves six dead, including attacker shot by police, and multiple people in critical condition | Sydney


Six dead, including attacker

The police assistant commissioner, Anthony Cooke, is providing an update at a press conference.

Cooke confirms the attacker was shot dead by a nearby police officer who was on her own.

“She confronted the offender who had moved by this stage to level five [of the mall] as she continued to walk quickly behind him to catch up with him. He turned, faced 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.”

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Key events

We’re still hearing more stories from shoppers who were inside the Westfield shopping centre in Bondi Junction at the time of the stabbing attack.

One local woman, from the nearby suburb of Clovelly who asked not to be named, told Guardian Australia she was inside the Myer department store on level 2:

“I heard a scream somewhere outside. Then a voiceover throughout Myer said “Code Brown.”

She said “we were then told by staff that something very serious had happened in the centre”.

“We had to run and hide in a location on the floor which turned out to be a storeroom. There would have been about 70 or 80 of us in there. We were told to keep our phones on silent and stay quiet. It was very hot in there.”

She said “there was quite a bit of confusion throughout the hour that we were in there with some orders being to evacuate and other orders to stay put”.

“At one stage we were evacuated and then told to run back inside. Staff did their best they could in the circumstances. Then we were told to evacuate and ran out of the Centre.”

Motive unclear, police not ruling out terrorism

Police say no clear motive has emerged in relation to the attacker who has killed five people and injured several others, including a baby.

The assistant commissioner, Anthony Cooke, said the man had been in the centre, left the shopping centre, then returned, at which point he began stabbing people in the centre.

No ideology or motive is clear.

There’s nothing that we are aware of at the scene that would indicate any motive or any ideology.

Asked by a reporter if police were ruling out terrorism, Cooke said:

We’re not ruling anything out.

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Several injured taken to hospital, death toll likely to increase

Tamsin Rose

Tamsin Rose

The assistant commissioner, Anthony Cooke, has said “there are more than several other people who have been conveyed to hospital”.

Guardian Australia understands the death toll is likely to increase.

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Attacker ‘acted alone’, ‘no continuing threat’

Anthony Cooke has said:

“From preliminary inquiries, it would appear that this person has acted alone. I am content that there is no continuing threat.”

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Six dead, including attacker

The police assistant commissioner, Anthony Cooke, is providing an update at a press conference.

Cooke confirms the attacker was shot dead by a nearby police officer who was on her own.

“She confronted the offender who had moved by this stage to level five [of the mall] as she continued to walk quickly behind him to catch up with him. He turned, faced 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.”

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NSW premier to return to Sydney immediately

Tamsin Rose

Tamsin Rose

Chris Minns, the New South Wales premier, will return to Sydney immediately following the Bondi Junction incident. Minns had been out of Sydney on Saturday and had an acting premier covering for him.

He just released this statement:

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.

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Anthony Albanese responds to attack and confirms multiple casualties

Australia’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has extended his sympathies to the victims. He wrote on Twitter/X:

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.

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.”

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.

— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) April 13, 2024

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Reports of potential second attacker likely incorrect

It appears that reports of a potential second attacker are incorrect.

Police were sweeping the shopping centre conducting searches, but now believe there was just one attacker.

The situation is understood to now be under control.

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A shopper who had been at a gym inside the Westfield shopping centre at Bondi Junction told the ABC from the street outside:

I saw a woman lying on the floor in [the shop] Chanel.

It was insanity, I wasn’t expecting it. I thought I was going to die.

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ABC reports police are searching for a second attacker

Police are still searching for a further attacker, having already shot one male earlier, the ABC is reporting, citing the New South Wales ambulance service.

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Acting premier issues statement

Penny Sharpe, the acting premier of the state of New South Wales, has just issued this statement:

I am shocked at reports of multiple casualties at Bondi Junction late this afternoon.

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.

I will be receiving a formal briefing shortly.

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What we know so far

It’s been a fast moving incident, so if you’re just joining us, here’s a run down of what we know so far:

  • At least four people are believed dead as a result of a “major incident” at Bondi Junction Westfield, a six-level shopping centre in Sydney’s east.

  • Multiple stabbings have been reported, with ambulances responding to “reports of a male running around Westfield with a knife”. A mother and her baby has been reported as being among those treated for stab wounds.

  • Police said a male was shot at the scene of the attack. It is not known if the death toll of four includes the attacker. Jason, a shopper evacuated from the centre, told 9 News he saw the alleged attacker with a “big blade”. Jason said he later witnessed police shoot the attacker before administering first aid.

  • A motive for the attack has not yet been established.

  • The centre is still in lockdown, with shoppers who had been hiding in stores continuing to exit stores as heavily armed tactical response teams move through the centre.

  • Authorities are telling people to avoid the area, as the streets remain filled with ambulances and police vehicles.

  • Brendan Blomeley was with his two children inside the Westfield when he heard two shots. “It was frightening, it was harrowing … We were cowering in a store with hundreds of other people”.

  • Footage from TV helicopters showed teams of heavily armed police making their way across the rooftop of one of the buildings in Bondi.

  • Guardian Australia’s Nikki Marshall was inside David Jones department story on level four of the shopping centre when she said she became aware of the incident at about 3:35pm. “Suddenly a woman said there’s a stabbing, we’ve got to go.”

  • Police are expected to provide an update at 5:45PM local time.

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Tamsin Rose

Tamsin Rose

This has just come in from Tamsin Rose, who is on the scene for Guardian Australia at Bondi Junction. She reports the below happened at about 5:30PM.

Heavily armed police have entered the Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre near [the store] Zara with their weapons drawn. They were followed by an officer with a dog.

Police prepare to enter Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre following reports of multiple stabbings. Photograph: Tamsin Rose/The Guardian
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Tamsin Rose

Tamsin Rose

Centre worker Josh was in one of the food courts on a break when he heard people screaming and running.

He said:

All of a sudden, people started running. There were a lot of people crying. I ran with them.

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Witness says first reponders arrived ‘within minutes’

Brendan Blomeley was with his two children inside the Westfield when he heard two shots.

“Adrenaline kicked in quickly,” he told ABC. “It was just one of those situations you wouldn’t wish upon anybody.”

Blomeley said police and paramedics arrived “within minutes” and went “above and beyond”.

“It was frightening, it was harrowing … We were cowering in a store with hundreds of other people.”

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Tamsin Rose

Tamsin Rose

Guardian Australia’s Tamsin Rose is reporting from Bondi Junction.

Dozens of police vehicles remained at Bondi Junction at 5.20pm.

People who parked at the shopping centre were being told to come back tomorrow when they expected the car park to reopen.

Multiple people were seen leaving the centre in tears.

Police press conference expected at 5:45pm

We’re expecting police to front a press conference to provide more information at 5:45PM, so in about 25 minutes.

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At least four believed dead after Bondi stabbings

Tamsin Rose

Tamsin Rose

Police cordon off an area around Bondi Westfield shopping centre following reports of multiple stabbings. Photograph: Nikki Marshall/The Guardian

It is believed at least four people have died at the incident at Bondi Junction.

It is not known if that includes the attacker.

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