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Baby discharged from hospital after Westfield Bondi attack

· Updated April 22 2024 - 9:37am, first published April 14 2024 - 9:00am

A nine-month-old child has been discharged from hospital a week on from a stabbing attack at Westfield Bondi Junction on April 13.

The baby's mother Ashlee Good was among the six people killed in the attack carried out by 40-year-old Joel Cauchi at the shopping centre.

WATCH: A candlelight vigil was held in honour of the victims of the Bondi Junction stabbing tragedy on April 21 at Bondi Beach.

Twelve others were injured with five people remaining in hospital as of April 22, three women and two men who were all in stable condition.

Westfield Bondi Junction reopened for the first time on April 18 for a "community reflection day" before retail trading resumed on April 19.

Counselling was made available at the centre which was quiet to allow community members to pay their respects and leave tributes if they wished.

"This has been a very difficult time and I want to acknowledge the hard work and tireless efforts of our Westfield Bondi team," Scentre Group CEO Elliott Rusanow said.

WATCH: NSW Premier Chris Minns and NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb visit Bondi Junction Shopping Centre to pay their respects at the memorial and offer condolences.

Mr Rusanow said some members of the victims' families had visited the centre privately.

"I was with those families... it was a very emotional experience and we have had that opportunity to provide the reflection moment while the centre remained closed," he said.

Dawn Singleton, Ashlee Good, Yixuan Cheng, Faraz Tahir, Jade Young and Pikria Darchia have been identified as the victims of the Bondi stabbing attack on April 13. Pictures supplied/Linkedin//Nine News
Dawn Singleton, Ashlee Good, Yixuan Cheng, Faraz Tahir, Jade Young and Pikria Darchia have been identified as the victims of the Bondi stabbing attack on April 13. Pictures supplied/Linkedin//Nine News

Yixuan Cheng, Pikria Darchia, Jade Young, Dawn Singleton, Ashlee Good and security guard Faraz Tahir were killed during the attack at Westfield Bondi Junction.

The attacker's father Andrew Cauchi told reporters outside his Toowoomba home in Queensland he was "extremely sorry" to hear of his son's actions.

He explained his son may have targeted women due to this frustration over wanting a girlfriend, but having no social skills.

"To you he's a monster, to me he was a very sick boy," he said.

NSW Premier Chris Minns has announced $18 million for an independent coronial inquiry into the attack and Mr Cauchi's previous interactions with government agencies in NSW and Queensland.

He said the victims' families had been offered support including counselling and financial assistance.

"We think about those families this morning who are dealing with the loss of their loved one," he said.

"The reports of those who have been killed are devastating, lives that have been lost that were so full of promise."

Ms Cheng, a 27-year-old Chinese national studying at the University of Sydney, was the last of the six victims to be identified on April 15.

NSW Police confirmed late on April 14 that 55-year-old Pikria Darchia had been killed in the attack. The family of the woman, from Tbilisi in Georgia, requested privacy.

It's understood Bronte Surf Life Saving Club, where 47-year-old Jade Young was a member, sent an email informing members of her death.

Ashlee Good, the daughter of former North Melbourne AFL player and board member Kerry Good, was remembered by her family as a "beautiful mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend" and an "all-round outstanding human".

Her nine-month-old daughter remains in hospital after emergency surgery to treat stab wounds.

Security guard Mr Tahir, aged 30, was revealed as the fourth murder victim on April 14.

He was a refugee from Pakistan who arrived in Australia just a year ago.

Faraz Tahir, aged 30, sought refuge in Australia just a year ago after fleeing persecution in Pakistan. Picture supplied
Faraz Tahir, aged 30, sought refuge in Australia just a year ago after fleeing persecution in Pakistan. Picture supplied

Pakistan's high commissioner to Australia Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said they were working with Mr Tahir's family to return his remains to Pakistan.

"Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with his family," Mr Chaudhri said.

Flags across Australia were flown at half-mast on April 15 to honour the victims of the stabbings at the request of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The Commonwealth Flag Officer said the buildings of government departments and agencies would fly the flag at half-mast as mark of mourning and respect.

The NSW government has launched an online condolence book for the victims, injured and emergency responders.

The community has been invited to share their messages to those affected here.

Attacker identified

Meanwhile, the man who attacked shoppers at Westfield Bondi Junction has been named by police as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi.

40-year-old Queensland man Joel Cauchi has been named by police as the man who attacked shoppers at Westfield Bondi Junction. Picture via Facebook
40-year-old Queensland man Joel Cauchi has been named by police as the man who attacked shoppers at Westfield Bondi Junction. Picture via Facebook

The Queensland man - understood to be from Brisbane - was previously known to police for minor incidents only.

NSW Premier Chris Minns, after arriving from Tokyo, said on April 14 he was grateful for the men and women who "cornered and confronted a murderer" as well as NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott who "saved many, many lives".

"She ran towards the danger and this state owes her a tremendous debt of gratitude," he said.

Police said the man allegedly lunged at NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott, before he was fatally shot. Picture via Twitter
Police said the man allegedly lunged at NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott, before he was fatally shot. Picture via Twitter

Queensland Police assistant commissioner Roger Lowe said Cauchi had never been arrested by police in Qld or charged with an offence. However, Cauchi had "suffered from mental health" and police were assisting the family, he said.

He said the man was diagnosed with a mental illness from age 17.

Cauchi's family reached out to authorities after seeing footage on TV, believing it "may well have been their son".

Asst cmr Lowe said the family had also sent a message to NSW Police "with respect to support of the police officer who has killed their son and expressing their concerns for her welfare".

Cauchi's family released a statement to the media on April 14:

"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."

Witnesses urged to come forward

Meanwhile, NSW Police assistant commissioner Anthony Cooke urged witnesses to come forward at an earlier briefing.

Six people have been killed as well as the attacker and another 12 remain in hospital after a mass stabbing incident in Sydney's east on April 13.

He maintained the attacks were not an act of terrorism.

"At this stage it would appear that this is related to the mental health of the individual," asst cmr Cooke said.

The Westfield shopping centre remained closed on Sunday.

"Investigations will very clearly continue through the day," cmr Cooke said. "This is a very broad incident ... people would understand this is a large crime scene. We need to deal with each and every aspect of that crime scene absolutely in minute detail.

Local residents begin to lay flowers at the scene of yesterday's mass stabbing at Bondi Junction, Sydney, Sunday, April 14, 2024. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
Local residents begin to lay flowers at the scene of yesterday's mass stabbing at Bondi Junction, Sydney, Sunday, April 14, 2024. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

"We will do things as quickly as is absolutely practicable but it will take some time."

The families of those who have died are being contacted. Cmr Cooke said two victims were understood not to have any family in Australia and steps were being taken to get in touch with them.

Faraz Ahmed Tahir, Ash Good, Jade Young, Pikria Darchia and Dawn Singleton were the first five murder victims to be identified on April 14. Pictures supplied/LinkedIn/AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Faraz Ahmed Tahir, Ash Good, Jade Young, Pikria Darchia and Dawn Singleton were the first five murder victims to be identified on April 14. Pictures supplied/LinkedIn/AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Ms Good's family released a statement on April 14:

"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.

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. We would also like to thank the New South Wales Police for their kindness and diligence in this tragedy and emergency services for getting our baby the care she needed as quickly as possible.

To the two men who held and cared for our baby when Ashlee could not - words cannot express our gratitude. We are struggling to come to terms with what has occurred. We would appreciate peace and privacy while we work through this as a family."

'Beyond comprehension'

Anthony Albanese said the deadly attack in Bondi Junction has "shocked the nation" and is "really just beyond comprehension".

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (centre left) and NSW Premier Chris Minns (centre right) join other politicians as they lay flowers at the scene of yesterday's mass stabbing. AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (centre left) and NSW Premier Chris Minns (centre right) join other politicians as they lay flowers at the scene of yesterday's mass stabbing. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

The Prime Minister attended church on Sunday morning with partner Jodie Haydon. Speaking to the media, he revealed that he had received condolences overnight from US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon among leaders in the region.

"The events of yesterday have shocked the nation. Australians are waking up to try to deal with the shock and trauma that will come with what has occurred, with violent actions that are unspeakable and really just beyond comprehension," he told reporters in Canberra.

"People going about their Saturday afternoon shopping should be safe, shouldn't be at risk, but tragically, we saw a loss of life and people will be grieving for loved ones today."

He again backed NSW and federal police in urging people not to speculate over the attack and the perpetrator despite new details emerging on Sunday morning.

Bondi scene after mass stabbings. Image: AAP
Bondi scene after mass stabbings. Image: AAP

Mr Albanese said thoughts and prayers are with people still in hospital and he gave thanks to responding police and emergency services.

"The wonderful inspector who ran into danger by herself and removed the threat that was there to others, without thinking about the risks to herself," he said.

"We also see the footage of ordinary Australians putting themselves in harm's way in order to help their fellow citizens. That bravery was quite extraordinary that we saw yesterday. The best of Australians amidst this extraordinary tragedy."

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb provides an update after six dead in 'horrific' Sydney shopping centre stabbings.

On April 13, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the nation offers its "deepest condolences".

"It was a scene of shocking violence."

And yet the instinct of those in the centre was "to help someone else" in the face of the violence, Mr Albanese said.

"The bravery of the police officer ... she is certainly a hero," he said.

"There is no doubt that she saved lives through her actions."

Mr Albanese said the motives of the attacker "were unknown".

Bondi crime scene. Image: AAP
Bondi crime scene. Image: AAP

AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw said he had offered federal support to his NSW counterpart.

Officer confronted offender

NSW Police said an officer attached to Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command attended and was allegedly confronted by a man with a knife.

"The man allegedly lunged at the officer, before he was fatally shot.

"The officer conducted CPR until the arrival of NSW Ambulance paramedics, who worked on the man; however, he could not be revived."

"A critical incident team comprised of State Crime Command's Homicide Squad and the Central Metropolitan Region will now investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident", police said

The investigation will be subject to an independent review.

NSW Premier Chris Minns, who arrived in Sydney after cutting short a Tokyo trip, was "horrified to hear about the events at Bondi Junction".

"I am making immediate arrangements to return to Sydney".

Premier Minns thanked "NSW Police, emergency services and first responders and the community for their bravery in the face of this shocking incident".

Acting NSW premier Penny Sharpe convened a crisis cabinet on April 13 with a "range of ministers".

She said the community "stands with those who have been injured".

Today was "just the beginning of the pain and grief" for those affected, Ms Sharpe said.

King Charles said in a statement he and his wife were "utterly shocked and horrified" to hear of the stabbing.

Support is available for those who may be distressed. Phone Lifeline 13 11 14; Men's Referral Service 1300 776 491; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; beyondblue 1300 224 636; 1800-RESPECT 1800 737 732; National Elder Abuse 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374)

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Karen Barlow

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Karen Barlow is ACM's Chief Political Correspondent. Working in the federal press gallery, she investigates and writes about federal politics and government. She has an interest in integrity, leadership and social equity. She has covered two Olympics and been to Antarctica twice. Contact her on karen.barlow@canberratimes.com.au

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