Sydney Police Say One Person Shot, Several Stabbed at Mall


One person was shot and several people were stabbed Saturday afternoon at a crowded major mall in Sydney, prompting the police to declare a critical incident and evacuate the area.

New South Wales Police said authorities received reports of multiple people stabbed shortly before 4 p.m. Numerous photos and videos on social media showed groups of people trying to help bloodied victims and others fleeing the mall, Westfield Bondi Junction, as alarms rang out, or sheltering in parts of the mall, some inside stores behind closed shutters. The attack took place on a sunny Saturday during peak hours on school holiday season.

Police did not immediately give information on the state of the victims or say whether any suspects were in custody. Media reports cited panicked shoppers fleeing the mall after hearing of the attacks. Some described hearing gunshots ring out as they huddled fearfully in back rooms.

Videos from inside the shopping center showed a man in dark shorts and a dark shirt chasing people with a knife in his right hand, catching people unaware until they begin to flee from him. One video showed a man at the top of an escalator trying to keep the attacker from continuing his rampage, while others showed bloody victims on the polished tile floors — in some cases with shoppers and police officers tending to people’s wounds.

Aerial footage in news reports showed injured people being taken out of the building on gurneys.

Bondi Junction is a busy commercial district in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, a wealthy area near the coast, and the mall is a popular destination for families and teenagers. At the time of a major renovation in 2005, the Westfield at Bondi Junction was described as one of the largest shopping centers in the Southern Hemisphere.

This is a developing story.

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