Police look beyond borders for motive in Bondi massacre

Investigators will head to Queensland as they try to unravel the motives of a man who fatally stabbed six people at a Sydney shopping centre, as the nation reels from the massacre.

Five women and one man were murdered in the stabbing on Saturday at Bondi Junction Westfield. Seven victims remain in hospital, including an infant girl, whose condition has improved from critical to serious.

The killer, 40-year-old Queensland man Joel Cauchi, seemingly singled out women in the nation's worst massacre in recent years. He was shot dead by police at the scene.

Floral tributes continue to grow outside Westfield Bondi Junction following the mass stabbing.

NSW Commissioner Karen Webb said late on Monday NSW police would go to Queensland to talk to Cauchi's family, associates and friends to "give us an insight into the offender and what he might have been thinking".

"He had a fascination with knives, we've been told that. What else was on his mind we really don't know," she said of Cauchi, who moved to Sydney from Queensland in March.

As a floral tribute to the victims grew at Bondi Junction, Premier Chris Minns said a special coronial inquiry would examine the circumstances of Cauchi's "horrifying, vile act".

The inquiry, bolstered by up to $18 million in extra funding, would look at the police response, as well as the killer's interactions with NSW and Queensland agencies.

Some of the Sydney stabbing victims.
Investigators are combing through the background of a man who killed six people in a mass stabbing.

Mr Minns said the killer's motive might never be known, but that it was "the truth of the matter" that many women were targeted in the attack, which could pave the way for security guards in shopping centres to be armed.

The killer's father Andrew Cauchi said his son, with whom he had periodic contact, battled mental health issues, such as schizophrenia, for decades.

"I’m loving a monster. To you he’s a monster but to me he was a very sick boy," Mr Cauchi said outside his home in the regional Queensland city of Toowoomba.

"This is so horrendous I can’t even explain it. I'm just devastated, I love my son."

Hundreds of people were forced to flee the east Sydney shopping centre during the attack that claimed the life of 38-year-old osteopath Ashlee Good and Dawn Singleton, 25, the daughter of high-profile businessman John Singleton.

A makeshift memorial outside the Westfield Bondi Junction
Fresh tributes to the victims of the attack continue to be left by well wishers.

Architect Jade Young, 47,  artist and designer Pikria Darchia, 55, and 27-year-old Chinese student Yixuan Cheng were also murdered.

Security guard Faraz Tahir, 30, a Pakistani refugee, was the only man killed.

The terrifying afternoon attack, vision of which was widely circulated on social media, has led to an outpouring of grief in the state where such killings are rare. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who laid flowers at the scene with Mr Minns on Sunday, said it was a difficult time as the nation grieved.

"At the same time, there are extraordinary acts of heroism that we applaud," Mr Albanese said.

Chris Minns and Karen Webb
Chris Minns and Karen Webb said the attacker targeted women.

Authorities have praised the bravery of the police inspector who shot Cauchi dead as well several shoppers who confronted him during the ordeal.

Since the attack, official flags have flown at half mast and the Sydney Opera House sails were lit with a black ribbon on Monday night. 

A permanent memorial is being considered for near the Bondi shopping centre site.

Lifeline 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store