'Apparent' Sydney killer targeted women – Australian police

  • Tiffany Turnbull, Jay Savage, Simon Atkinson, Emily Atkinson
  • in Sydney and London

image source, Rohan Anderson

image caption, Joel Kachi killed five women and a man before he was shot dead

A knife-wielding man at a Sydney shopping center appears to have targeted women.

Joel Cauchi, 40, terrorized the crowded Westfield Bondi Junction complex on Saturday.

5 of the 6 deceased were women. Several people, including a child, were injured.

The New South Wales police commissioner told Australia's ABC News that Mr Gauchi's focus on women was “obvious”.

The only person killed in the attack was Faraz Tahir (30), a security guard who tried to intervene. He was a refugee from Pakistan who had only been in Australia for a “short period”, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told Triple M radio on Monday.

“The videos speak for themselves, don't they?” Commissioner Karen Webb said.

“It's clear to me, the detectives know… the perpetrator focused on women and avoided men.

“We don't know what went through the mind of the offender, which is why it's important now that detectives spend more time interviewing people who knew him.”

Mr Albanese told ABC News that “gender breakdown is, of course, involved”.

4 people who were injured during the riots have been discharged from the hospital. According to local media, eight others continue to be treated in critical to stable condition.

Officials have previously said the attack on Mr Gauchi, who was shot dead by a lone police officer on Saturday, was most likely a “psychiatric-related” attack.

video title, The scene of the Westfield Bondi Mall attack is still a hive of police activity

He was already known to police but had not been arrested or charged in his home state of Queensland. Queensland police said he had lived as a wanderer for years and was diagnosed with mental illness at the age of 17.

The attack – at one of the country's largest and most popular shopping centers – has shocked Australia, where mass killings are rare.

“This is a devastating day for New South Wales,” the state's Premier Chris Minns said in a speech. Mr Minns announced an A$18m ($11.6m; £9.3m) investigation into the police response and the killer's previous links to government agencies.

During an interview with ABC News, he also flagged the possibility of a permanent memorial in Bondi to commemorate the six people who lost their lives.

image caption, People are laying flowers outside the mall to pay their respects to the deceased

Flags were flown at half-mast across the country on Monday, and the sails of the Sydney Opera House will pay tribute to the victims.

Crowds of people left flowers and cards for those killed in the attack at Bondi Junction.

Ashlee Good, 38, was stabbed while trying to protect her nine-month-old baby girl, who was also injured and rushed into surgery. After hours of emergency surgery, his condition has improved significantly, state officials said.

“Sometimes there are bright lights in the darkest times, and it suffocates our country. [for],” Health Minister Ryan Park said Monday.

Architect Jade Young, 47, and Picria Torchia, 55, were also killed, while Dawn Singleton, 25, was identified by local media.

In a post on social media, Ms Singleton's boss remembered her as “a sweet, kind person who had her whole life ahead of her”.

Mr Albanese confirmed the final victim was Cheng Yixuan – a Chinese student studying in Australia. His family members have been informed and are currently on their way to Australia, ABC News reported.

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