Guernsey Press

‘Amazing courage and bravery’ by shoppers in Sydney attack that killed six

Shoppers provided make-shift medical aid for victims and attempted to stop the attacker as he went on ‘rampage’ through Westfield Bondi Junction.

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Members of the public “showed amazing courage and bravery” during the attack in Sydney that killed six on the first day of the school holidays.

Shoppers provided make-shift medical aid to victims and attempted to stop the attacker as he went on “rampage” through the busy Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre on Saturday afternoon.

The knifeman targeted “shoppers peacefully going about their lives” but “their first instinct in the face of danger was to help someone else”, the Australian Prime Minister has said.

One of the brothers told 9News Sydney: “We were just shopping and saw the man run up to the woman with the baby and then we were both ready to go and help out.

“But I just said to my brother, we’ve got to run in – ran in, told the guys to lock up the doors and then the mother came with the baby bleeding, stabbed and we got them into the store and just got them safe and then rang for help.”

He added his brother “helped with holding the baby, and trying to compress the baby, and same with the mother – trying to compress the blood from stopping, and call the ambulance and the police.”

The BBC reported a man called Johnny, 33, was shopping when he turned to see a woman and her baby being attacked.

He said: “She was getting stabbed. Everyone was in shock (and) didn’t know what to do.”

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Police officers walk past a sign to evacuate at the shopping centre (Rick Rycroft/AP)

He said people tried to stop the bleeding using clothes: “The baby only had a minor wound, but the lady was pretty bad – there was a lot of blood and she was panicking.”

The highest-ranking police officer in the state, Commissioner Karen Webb, thanked the shopkeepers and shoppers who “showed amazing courage and bravery”.

An employee at the COS shop, Rashdan Aqashah, 19, said he watched a man confront the attacker on an escalator using a pole, the BBC reported.

He said: “I saw this one guy fighting with the killer. He was holding the pole, trying to throw a pole at the escalator.

“I grabbed my manager to shut the store door. It was just in front of our store.”

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An ambulance leaves the scene (Rick Rycroft/AP)

One woman said she saw two dead bodies before she hid in the Lululemon sportswear shop.

She told ABC News: “At the counter while I was as paying I heard this screaming of kids, women and men outside the shop – as soon as I turned my face to look I saw a guy who was wearing this green outfit, jersey materials, with shorts and a t-shirt with a very massive knife on hand.

“Then I saw a dead body right in front.

“There was massive (amounts of) blood around that body, a few metres after there was another dead body as well on the floor which was pretty scary.

“He had already stabbed two and they were on the floor and he was trying to turn back, like a U-turn, back to Lululemon shop, then I just screamed ‘where is the safest changing room in which I can go and lock myself’.

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Tactical police leave the shopping centre (Rick Rycroft/AP)

Workers at a hair salon near the shopping centre ushered in “traumatised” older women.

A woman who works at the salon told the same news outlet: “We’ve had the older women coming into the salon who were in Westfield, traumatised, we had to sit them down because they were running and they weren’t fit enough to run.”

People were still sheltered in the salon hours after the attack because their cars were parked in the shopping centre, she added.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a statement to the nation: “This was a horrific act of violence indiscriminately targeted at innocent people going about a normal Saturday, doing their shopping.

“Today Bondi Junction was the scene of horrific violence, but it was also witness to the humanity and the heroism of our fellow Australians, our brave police, our first responders, and of course our everyday people who could never have imagined that they would face such a moment.

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Police officers stand guard outside the shopping centre (Rick Rycroft/AP)

New South Wales’ acting Premier Penny Sharpe thanked the first-responder and the “innocent bystanders” who “stood up”.

She said: “I want to thank, on behalf of the New South Wales government, all of those who stood up today in the most frightening of experiences and the most frightening events that you would ever expect to see.

“Particularly, I want to thank, obviously, the police officer who stopped this person.

“I also want to thank the innocent bystanders who, in frightening times, stood up for the people around them – people that they did not know, but people whose lives they knew were worthwhile and part of their community, and they wanted to look after them.”

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