A Saturday shopping spree in the Australian metropolis of Sydney turned fatal for some visitors. For reasons still unknown, a man apparently stabbed passers-by with a knife at random in the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping center. At least six victims are dead and others are seriously injured. Eyewitnesses report that it was a shooting spree.

This might have caused even more victims if a single police officer on site had not stopped the perpetrator. According to eyewitnesses, the officer shouted at the perpetrator to put down his knife and shot him when he did not comply, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The shot proved fatal. Photos and videos circulating on social networks show the police officer leaning over the lifeless perpetrator lying in a pool of blood and speaking into her radio. Eyewitnesses report that the police officer tried to revive both the perpetrator and nearby victims.

The police officer “showed tremendous courage and bravery,” said Karen Webb, spokesperson for the New South Wales Police Department, in a statement to the press. She is an experienced, higher-ranking colleague who has been in the police service for more than ten years. She confirmed that the colleague was alone when she encountered the perpetrator, which was not unusual for an experienced police officer. She is doing well under the circumstances.

Police spokesman Anthony Cooke said the police officer caught the perpetrator on the fifth floor of the shopping center. “As she ran after him to catch up with him, he turned around, faced her and pulled out a knife. She fired a gun and that person is now deceased,” Cooke describes the scene. It all happened very quickly, says Cooke. “The officer was nearby, came on her own initiative, was guided to the location of the perpetrator by people who were in the center and took the actions she did to save the lives of a number of people.”

At least one brave passer-by had previously tried to stop the attacker. Videos on social media show the man standing at the top of an escalator wielding a bollard as a weapon and not letting the perpetrator on the escalator pass. This man is also celebrated as a hero who may have prevented something worse from happening.

Apart from the perpetrator, the fatalities include five women and one man; other victims are being treated in hospital, some with serious injuries.

Quellen:”Sydney Morning Herald” / Sky News Australia / X