A cozy Saturday afternoon while shopping, but suddenly there is panic and fear of death: in a busy shopping center in the Western Australian metropolis of Sydney, a man stabs five people and kills them. A sixth person dies in hospital from his injuries. There are fears for the lives of other people, some seriously injured.

A police officer on site is able to catch the suspected perpetrator and shoots him when he refuses to drop his knife. The man, whose identity and motives are still unknown, also dies. After a few hours the horror ends.

“He would have continued, he was on a killing spree,” an eyewitness told Australian broadcaster ABC. He witnessed the scene with the policewoman and saw how the officer tried to revive the man on site. Previously, he had heard screams and seen panicked people running into the shops to seek safety. Many stores quickly closed and lowered their blinds, as seen in photos obtained by ABC.

Emergency services were called to the busy Westfield Bondi Junction shopping center in Sydney’s east at around 3.40pm – where there were already several reports of many people fleeing a man brandishing a knife. Many people quickly gathered outside the complex, fearing for their loved ones, as seen in social media posts and photos.

“And then I thought I was going to die…”

The police completely cordoned off the mall in Bondi Junction, buses took detours and the train station was closed. There was only one topic on the streets around the mall: What terrible thing happened at Westfield Bondi Junction? And are there other perpetrators still at large? Countless police officers provided calm and created security with their presence, as an eyewitness reported to the German Press Agency.

“I was just coming out of the gym and just living my life and then I thought I was going to die… I was just so scared,” one woman told ABC. Other witnesses reported grabbing their children and running out of the center along with hundreds of people.

A few hours later, despite the reports of people being stabbed, there was not only sadness but also relief: the danger was over, said Anthony Cooke, deputy chief of the New South Wales Police, at a press conference on Saturday evening. There is only one suspected perpetrator. A police officer shot him and he died.

The background to the crime is still unclear

“Our sympathy goes out to the injured and our thanks to those who care for them, as well as our brave police officers and first responders,” writes Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the X platform.

A witness reported taking shelter in a store when the incident occurred and later saw people leaving the center in tears. “I think people are worried about what the reason was,” he said.

The police in the state of New South Wales, where Sydney is located, initially had no further information. She emphasized that her investigation would be long and precise. The man’s identity has not yet been determined and there are no indications of motives or ideologies at the crime scene. At the same time, she thanked those who happened to be present on site for their help, who courageously rushed to help the people who had been stabbed. And the police are also convinced that the quick and decisive action of the officer who caught the alleged perpetrator saved many lives.