Stabbing Attack in Sydney Kills at Least Six People

A man killed at least six people and injured at least two others during a stabbing rampage at a popular shopping mall in Sydney, Australia on Saturday afternoon, in one of the country’s deadliest acts of mass violence in recent decades.

The authorities said a man wielding a knife entered the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping center and began stabbing people before a lone police officer shot and killed him. Five people died of their injuries at the scene and one died later in the hospital, the police said. Among those hospitalized, some in a critical condition, was a nine-month-old baby.

Police officials on Saturday did not formally identify the attacker, but said that they believed they knew who he was, and that he had acted alone. His motives were unclear, but they said that the victims did not appear to have been targeted. If their belief about the attacker’s identity is confirmed, they said, the attack was not a “terrorism incident.”

The violence of the rampage, which took place on a weekend in a bustling area popular with families, children and beachgoers, stunned Australians. Mass shootings are rare in the country, which has strict gun laws, and Saturday’s attack was the worst act of mass violence since 2017. In that incident, a driver in a drug-induced psychosis killed six people after deliberately plowing his car into pedestrians in Melbourne.

For many shoppers, the commotion came first, before it was clear that there was danger. Some hid in backrooms fearing for their lives as alarms blared through the mall. Others ran, screaming, passing by the injured victims on the floor. Parents held their children’s hands.

Gavin Lockhart, 37, said in a telephone call that he was sitting in a coffee shop at the mall when he suddenly saw people running. At first, he said, he thought it was a celebrity sighting. Then, he said, he began hearing, “He’s got a knife! He’s got a knife!”

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