Bondi Junction Attack: “The Community is Devastated” - Juice 107.3

Bondi Junction Attack: “The Community is Devastated”

In the wake of a massacre at a popular Sydney shopping centre, Australians are focusing on those who saved lives, and ways they can help.

By Juice 107.3 Network Monday 15 Apr 2024NewsReading Time: 5 minutes

Warning: The following article contains content that some readers may find distressing. If you need support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au.

Another victim of Saturday’s Bondi Junction Westfield stabbing attack has been named.

Key Points:

  • Premier Chris Minns has declared a National Day of Mourning following the Bondi Junction stabbing attack which killed six people on Saturday.
  • Heroic acts of bravery and a community coming together in support of victims’ families and survivors.
  • Help is available if you need it, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Hope Careline team are available to pray with you 02 7227 5533.

Student Yixuan Cheng, 25, was the sixth person killed in the massacre, which has shocked the nation.

She was reportedly studying for a master’s degree in economics at the University of Sydney, and had just finished some exams.

“She happily talked to me on the phone at around 3 in the afternoon,” her fiancé told a Chinese newspaper.

“She even tried on clothes for me to see.”

Sydney massacre

At around 3.20pm on Saturday, a 40-year-old man identified as Joel Cauchi, went on a stabbing rampage at the Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre.

Seven people were killed (including the attacker) and at least 12 were injured.

Police have revealed Mr Cauchi appeared to target only women.

The victims were: Ashlee Good, a new mum whose nine-month-old baby was also stabbed; architect and mother-of-two Jade Young; Dawn Singleton, who is the daughter of well-known millionaire businessman John Singleton; artist Pikria Darchia, 55, and male security guard Faraz Tahir.

“The people who have been killed were innocent people who had their entire lives ahead of them,” said NSW Premier Chris Minns yesterday morning, as he announced $18 million in funding to establish a coronial inquiry into the attack.

“The community is devastated in the knowledge of their loss, whether we were personally known to those who were killed or not.”

Policewoman’s bravery

The attack came to an end when police inspector, Amy Scott, entered the shopping centre and tracked down Mr Cauchi.

It is understood she told Mr Cauchi, who had been diagnosed with mental health issues as a teenager, to put down his knife.

He did not comply and moved toward her, resulting in the officer discharging her weapon.

She attempted CPR on the wounded man but he died at the scene.

The attacker

Mr Cauchi hailed from Toowoomba, Queensland and recently came to Sydney.

He did not have a place of residence but had rented a storage facility in Waterloo.

He had been involved with several social groups, including a beginner surfing club at Bondi Beach.

His Facebook page shows he went to Harristown State High School in Toowoomba and worked as an English tutor at an online institution.

He has also advertised himself as an escort.

In the hours before the attack, video footage showed Mr Cauchi appearing disoriented, and at one stage he fell down outside a shop doorway in Bondi Junction.

“Joel’s actions were truly horrific, and we are still trying to comprehend what has happened,” a statement from his family said.

“He has battled with mental health issues since he was a teenager.”

“…no issues with the police officer who shot our son as she was only doing her job to protect others and we hope she is coping alright”.

The family also said they had “no issues with the police officer who shot our son as she was only doing her job to protect others and we hope she is coping alright”.

Heroes

In the midst of Saturday’s horror, heroes emerged.

When Ms Good and her baby were attacked, the mum handed her baby to a man, who with his brother worked to stanch the bleeding, likely saving the girl’s life.

“The mum came over with the baby and threw it at me, and I was just holding the baby,” the unnamed man told Nine News.

“I just helped out, just holding the baby and trying to compress the blood from stopping and calling ambulance and police.”

In another heroic moment, which was filmed by a shopper, a French construction worker approached Mr Cauchi with a bollard, to stop him progressing up an escalator.

And another video showed a dad confronting Mr Cauchi to protect his family.

Ways to help

In the wake of the stabbings, the Australian Red Cross has issued a fresh appeal for people to donate blood.

“Certainly donating blood is something that people can do to help out,” Australian Red Cross Lifeblood’s Sam Brown told 2GB.

“I think one in three of us will need blood at some point in our lives, but only one in 30 Australians is a blood donor.”

If you want to donate blood, contact Red Cross Lifeblood on 13 14 95, or visit lifeblood.com.au.

There are also GoFundMe pages set up for some of the victims.

One page is raising money for Ms Good’s baby, Harriet, who remains in the Children’s ICU at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

The page has been authorised by the family and has already raised more than $100,000.

And a cousin of murdered security guard Faraz Tahir has set up a GoFundMe page for the man’s family. Mr Tahir was a refugee from Pakistan.

“Faraz lost his parents at a young age,” read a statement on the page. “He fled persecution in his home country, Pakistan … and he finally came to Australia.”

Dangers for children

Mental health experts have also provided advice with regards to children who have been exposed to the attack via the media, including social media.

Experts said to watch for changes in children, and Kids Helpline national director Leo Hede told the ABC it was important to not dismiss children’s feelings.

“Sometimes we can default to minimising,” he said.

“Really listen to what children are saying and respond encouragingly to their emotions. Reassure them it’s okay to be upset, it’s okay to have emotions.”

“Really listen to what children are saying and respond encouragingly to their emotions. Reassure them it’s okay to be upset, it’s okay to have emotions.”

As police continue their investigations, many people have been showing their support for those killed and injured by placing flowers and cards of support on Oxford Street, near Bondi Junction Westfield.

“Our hearts and prayers are with all of you,” read one card.


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