Police investigating if Sydney stabbing killer targeted women

  • 14/04/2024

Police are investigating whether the man behind a stabbing rampage at a Sydney mall on Saturday was targeting women.

NSW Police confirmed on Sunday that of the 17 people stabbed at the Bondi Westfield shopping centre in Sydney's east, 14 were women.

And of the six people killed, five were women - including multi-millionaire advertising guru John Singleton's 25-year-old daughter Dawn Singleton and 38-year-old mum Ash Good whose baby daughter was also stabbed. 

Police earlier named the attacker. They said Joel Cauchi, 40, arrived in Sydney from Queensland in March and police believe he had no ideological motivation for the attacks. 

Cauchi was shot dead by police at the mall.

NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott was reportedly the first officer inside the mall, and took on the armed attacker, before shooting him in the chest when he lunged at her. 

Scott then performed CPR on the killer, along with victims lying on the ground as she waited for back-up to arrive.

During the rampage, video footage showed the knifeman ignoring men and deliberately chasing after women.

Commissioner Karen Webb said any purposeful targeting of women would be an "obvious line of inquiry" that police would follow.

"At this stage, we don't know a motive. What we do understand, so far, is that there's no ideological motivation," she said according to Nine News.  

"We do understand that there is a history of mental health but it will be the ongoing work of the investigators to determine what his activities were yesterday and the days before."

She told media people could form their own opinions of what he was doing based on the video.