‘Obvious’ Sydney attacker targeted women, Australian police say, as sixth victim named

15 April 2024, 05:17 | Updated: 15 April 2024, 07:28

Five of the six victims from the stabbing have been named.
Five of the six victims from the stabbing have been named. Picture: Supplied/New South Wales Police
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

It is "obvious" that the man who went on a stabbing spree in a Sydney shopping centre was targeting women, Australian police have said.

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The Australian Prime Minister has named the sixth victim in the attack, Yixuan Cheng, 25, from China. She was studying for an MA in economics at the University of Sydney.

Five of the victims have since been named as Dawn Singleton, 25, Ashlee Good, 38, Jade Young, 47, Pikria Darchia, 55, and Faraz Tahir - with five of the six victims being female.

"It's obvious to me, it's obvious to detectives that seems to be an area of interest that the offender had focused on women and avoided the men," said New South Wales police commissioner Karen Webb.

"Five of the deceased are women and the majority of victims in hospital are also women."

Ashlee Good was named as one of the victims, who as attacked protecting her baby.
Ashlee Good was named as one of the victims, who as attacked protecting her baby. Picture: Supplied

The knifeman behind the attack was named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi, a surfer and English tutor from Queensland, who was shot dead by officer Amy Scott after he raised a knife to her.

Dawn Singleton, a Communications graduate at the University of Technology Sydney, was named as one of the victims of the attack on Saturday, she was the daughter of well-known entrepreneur John Singleton.

Ashlee Good was also a victim of the stabbings, she was attacked by knifeman Cauchi while trying to save her nine-month-old baby but tragically died later in hospital.

Read more: Pictured: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed six people before being shot dead by brave policewoman

Read more: Pictured: Mother, 38, killed defending her baby from Sydney shopping centre massacre

Ms Good’s family said in a statement on Sunday: “Today we are reeling from the terrible loss of Ashlee, a beautiful mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend, all-round outstanding human, and so much more.

"We appreciate the well wishes and thoughts of members of the Australian public who have expressed an outpouring of love for Ashlee and our baby girl."

Dawn Singleton was also named as a victim.
Dawn Singleton was also named as a victim. Picture: LinkedIn
Security guard Faraz Tahir was named as victim.
Security guard Faraz Tahir was named as victim. Picture: Facebook

Also killed were Jade Young, who worked as an architect in Sydney, Pikria Darchia who described herself as an artist, and Faraz Tahir, a security guard at the shopping centre.

The Australian Pakistani National Association paid tribute to Mr Tahir as “courageous” on social media.

The sixth victim of the attack has not been named but it is understood they were from overseas as police attempt to contact their family.

Cauchi was already known to police in New South Wales and Queensland before the attack for mental-health-related matters.

Mum-of-two Jade Young worked as an architect in Sydney.
Mum-of-two Jade Young worked as an architect in Sydney. Picture: NSW Police
Pikria Darchia was named as the fifth victim.
Pikria Darchia was named as the fifth victim. Picture: NSW Police

Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke said following the incident that Cauchi was “very clearly” suffering from mental health issues.

Mr Cooke said: “We know that shortly after coming to Sydney, he took possession of a storage facility that has been identified.

“We are continuing to work through the profiling of the offender but very clearly to us at this stage it would appear that this is related to the mental health of the individual involved.”

Cauchi's family later issued a statement via Queensland Police as they said his actions were “truly horrific” and confirmed he had a long history of suffering with his mental health.

They said: “We are absolutely devastated by the traumatic events that occurred in Sydney yesterday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims and those still undergoing treatment at this time.

“Joel's actions were truly horrific, and we are still trying to comprehend what has happened. He has battled with mental health issues since he was a teenager.

“We are in contact with both the New South Wales Police Force and Queensland Police Service and have 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 knifeman who killed six people in a rampage at a Sydney shopping centre was named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi.
The knifeman who killed six people in a rampage at a Sydney shopping centre was named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi. Picture: Facebook

The family of Ashlee Good has since provided an update on her baby who had to be operated on following the attack.

They said in a statement on Sunday: “We can report that after hours of surgery yesterday, our baby is currently doing well. We are so grateful for the expert care and attention of the medical team at Sydney Children's Hospital.

"To the two men who held and cared for our baby when Ashlee could not - words cannot express our gratitude."

Police inspector Amy Scott was praised for her courageous behaviour on Saturday.

Ms Scott was the first respondent on the scene during the attack and shot Cauchi dead after he threatened her with a knife.

Members of the public have since visited the area to pay tribute with flowers to those who lost their lives or have been affected by the attack.

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