Bondi Junction attack: NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb says offender didn’t have terrorist motivations

Headshot of Remy Varga
Remy Varga
The Nightly
3 Min Read
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb says the man who stabbed six people to death at Bondi Junction, Sydney, had no terrorist motivations.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb says the man who stabbed six people to death at Bondi Junction, Sydney, had no terrorist motivations. Credit: BDM SM/AAPIMAGE

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb has confirmed police do not believe the male attacker who stabbed six people to death in Westfield Bondi Junction, Sydney, on Saturday held terrorist motivations or ideology.

The man was known to law enforcement.

“It’s not a terrorist incident,” Ms Webb said on Saturday night.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

“We are confident that there is no ongoing risk.”

Ms Webb confirmed five women and one man had died in the attack. A nine-month-old baby is being treated for injuries in hospital.

The massacre at one of the busiest shopping precincts in Sydney has left seven dead and numerous others, including a nine-month-old baby, with serious injuries.

Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate the Westfield shopping complex at Bondi Junction on Saturday afternoon, with others locked inside stores as a man brandishing a long knife attacked shoppers at random.

Video posted to social media showed victims lying on the ground, blood spattered on the marble floors of the shopping complex.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke said the mass stabbing had been declared a critical incident.

He said the assailant left the Westfield centre at 3.10pm on Saturday before returning about 10 minutes later.

The man, who wore a Kangaroos jersey, then began “engaging” with shoppers, Mr Cooke said.

A lone policewoman, who was checking RSAs nearby as part of a routine inspection, was alerted to the assailant’s rampage before running into the Westfield and confronting the assailant on level five of the complex.

“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 [the assailant] is now deceased,” said Mr Cooke.

Seven people, including the assailant, have died. A nine-month-old infant has been taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital while a number of others are in serious or critical condition.

Mr Cooke said the assailant acted alone and he was content there was no continuing threat.

“Police have commenced investigations into the matter that will continue through this evening,” he said.

“I do not have details of the victims who have been killed by this individual nor those who have been conveyed to hospital for treatment.

“I cannot provide you with further information to them only to say very clearly that our hearts go out to all of them as they do to anyone touched by this terrible incident this afternoon.”

Mr Cooke said there was nothing at the scene to indicate any motive.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has been briefed by the Australian Federal Police on the attack.

“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,” he said.

Acting NSW Premier Penny Sharpe said she was shocked by the attack and she was receiving regular updates from NSW Police.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

NSW Premier Chris Minns says he is making plans to return to Sydney and was horrified by the mass stabbing.

“I am horrified to hear about the events at Bondi Junction this afternoon,” he said.

“I am making immediate arrangements to return to Sydney. I want to thank NSW Police, emergency services first responders and the community for their bravery in the face of this shocking incident.”

More to come.

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 18-06-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 18 June 202418 June 2024

RBA boss turns hopes of mortgage cut on its head, declaring the bank is now only considering LIFTING rates as inflation continues to punish households.