‘Hero’ officer praised for her ‘bravery’ after confronting knifeman who killed six people at Sydney shopping centre

13 April 2024, 12:31 | Updated: 13 April 2024, 14:27

The Australian Prime Minister praised the officer for her 'heroism'.
The Australian Prime Minister praised the officer for her 'heroism'. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese commended the lone officer’s ‘heroism' during the incident which 'no doubt saved lives'.

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At least six people have been killed and multiple are in critical condition after a knifeman went on a rampage at a shopping centre in Sydney on Saturday afternoon.

A New South Wales Police inspector, who was the first respondent at the scene, confronted the attacker and shot him dead as he raised a knife and lunged at her.

Mr Albanese praised the ‘heroism’ of the officer’s actions, as he said that she had undoubtedly saved lives.

He said at a press conference: "The bravery of the police officer, who entered the proceedings that were taking place - obviously very dangerous - by herself, she is certainly a hero.

"There is no doubt she saved lives through her action and it is a reminder that those people who wear uniform are people who rush to danger, not away from it and I give thanks to every one of them for the actions they have taken up to now.”

He added: "To any Australian affected by this tragedy, every Australian is with you."

Read more: At least six killed and several people including baby injured during knifeman’s rampage at Sydney shopping centre

Read more: Four men jailed over funeral drive-by shooting outside Euston church that left four women and two girls injured

The death toll has risen to six.
The death toll has risen to six. Picture: Getty

New South Wales Commissioner Karen Webb confirmed on Saturday that of the six victims killed so far, one was a man and five were women.

She said that one of the women died in hospital from her injuries and the others died at the scene.

Ms Webb also said that there are 'about eight' people currently being treated in hospital for different injuries, including a nine-month-old baby who is receiving surgery.

The knifeman, 40, was known to police and the incident is not believed to be terror-related, she added.

"We know a little bit about this person but are waiting to confirm his identification," she said.Police do not have fears he was “holding an ideation - in other words it is not a terrorism incident. He is known to law enforcement.”

Police do not believe the incident was terror-related.
Police do not believe the incident was terror-related. Picture: Getty

Mr Albanese confirmed that the attacker, who has since been shot dead, acted alone. Police said there was no further threat to the public.

He also said: "The motives are not known yet, and speculation on that would not be helpful at this time."

Earlier, witnesses reported that a man had been attacking shoppers in the mall at random before being shot by police.

Hundreds of shoppers were seen fleeing Westfield shopping centre at Bondi Junction around 4pm local time on Saturday amid the reports.

A woman who was driving near the shopping centre said she was "terrified" as she saw streams of people running away from the scene before hearing gunshots ring out.

Ness Eve, 52, told the PA news agency: “They were running, not only on my right side but the left side as well, and so I rolled my window down and said, 'excuse me, what's going on,' and that's when somebody scream-shouted, 'there's been some stabbing, run, we're running from that'."