Wakeley church stabbing: NSW Police arrest first person over riot that followed ‘terror’ attack

David Johns and Remy Varga
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Police at the scene of the arrest.
Police at the scene of the arrest. Credit: 7NEWS/7NEWS

Police have raided a home in Doonside and arrested a 19-year-old man in the wake of the riot that followed the stabbing of a bishop in western Sydney on Monday.

NSW Police said officers from the operation support group executed a search warrant on a home in Powers Road at 5.40pm on Wednesday.

The spokesperson said a 19-year-old man was arrested and taken to Blacktown police station for questioning.

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Hundreds of people descended on the Christ the Good Shepherd Church on Monday night after Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was allegedly stabbed while giving a sermon that was live-streamed across multiple platforms and watched by tens of thousands of people.

Riot squad officers battled to protect the church as worshippers attacked police vehicles, shattering windows and slashing tyres along Welcome Street as a helicopter flew overhead.

As investigations continue under Strike Force Dribbs, police have arrested a man at a home in Sydney’s west.
As investigations continue under Strike Force Dribbs, police have arrested a man at a home in Sydney’s west. Credit: 7NEWS/7NEWS

Rioters threw projectiles including bricks and metal fence posts at police, with 58 officers injured including two that were hospitalised.

About 51 police vehicles were damaged, including 29 that are now unusable.

A 16-year-old was arrested over the stabbing, which authorities have designated a terror attack, and is being treated in hospital after severing his finger during the attack.

A damaged police car is seen after a mob was pushed back by police outside the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney's western suburb of Wakeley on April 15, 2024, after several people were stabbed in the church premises. Australian police arrested a man after several people were stabbed at a church in Sydney on April 15 and emergency services said four people were being treated for non-life threatening injuries. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)
A police car was damaged after a mob was pushed back by police outside the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney on Monday. Credit: DAVID GRAY/AFP

NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley said on Wednesday that counterterrorism investigators were yet to interview the teenager.

Political and religious leaders have called for calm and unity in the wake of the attack.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or by making a report online.

Information is treated in strict confidence.

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