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The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has described the violence at Bondi Junction as “unspeakable” and “just beyond comprehension”.

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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.

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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. We also know there are many people still in hospital dealing with a recovery and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

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We also though at this time give thanks to our 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.

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NSW police have named the man who killed five women and one man at Bondi Junction in a mass stabbing incident on Saturday as Joel Cauchi, a 40-year-old man from Queensland.

They have reiterated that there is no evidence Cauchi acted with “any particular ideology or motivation”.

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Assistant commissioner Anthony Cooke, the central metropolitan region commander, also praised the conduct of Amy Scott, the officer who shot the assailant.

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Assistant commissioner Anthony Cooke, the central metropolitan region commander, is speaking now to reporters in Sydney.

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Cooke confirms that there are six families who have been contacted for the five women and one man killed. Two of the victims appear to have no family in Australia and police are working to contact their family overseas.

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There are also “a number of people” who remain in hospital receiving treatment for injuries. Cooke says many are in a “serious but stable condition”, including a young child.

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Police are also seeking witness statements and footage from people who were present at the scene and have asked people to come forward with that material.

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NSW Police will provide an update on the investigation into the stabbing at Bondi Junction at 8.30am.

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Police were initially expected to speak to the media at 8am but the press conference has been pushed back by half an hour.

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A mass stabbing at a Sydney shopping centre where an attacker was shot dead by a senior police officer has shocked Australia as investigations into the incident continue.

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Six people, five women and one man, were killed in the attack at the Bondi Junction shopping centre and several others were injured. A nine-month-old baby was among those stabbed and was undergoing surgery, the NSW police commissioner, Karen Webb, told reporters on Saturday.

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She said police were confident there was no ongoing threat and the attacker, believed to be a 40-year-old man, acted alone. The centre is closed and will be an active crime scene for days.

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Police are not ruling anything out as they begin a “lengthy and precise” investigation but there was no indication of “any motive or ideology” in the early stages of the investigation, NSW police assistant commissioner Tony Cooke earlier told reporters.

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The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, said the attack was a horrific act of violence indiscriminately targeting innocent people, and praised the actions of a nearby NSW police inspector who responded alone as hundreds of shoppers fled the scene.

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The NSW premier, Chris Minns, said it was a shocking day in the state’s history.

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Australian federal police commissioner Reece Kershaw said the AFP was providing support and that Asio and other agencies were involved in briefings.

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King Charles said in a statement overnight that he and Queen Camilla were “utterly shocked and horrified to hear of the tragic stabbing incident in Bondi”.

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Pope Francis also expressed his sadness at the “senseless tragedy” and offered his “spiritual closeness” to all those affected.

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NSW police are expected to give an update around 8am.

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‘A tragedy the likes we haven’t seen before’: health minister

Park says there was a debrief at the Randwick ambulance station for the “40 odd” paramedics who were among the first on the scene.

They had professional counsellors and trauma support people there ready to provide that assistance, both overnight and in the oncoming days and weeks ahead. This is a tragedy the likes we haven’t seen before and a scale we haven’t seen before and therefore there is a huge impact on those frontline responses.

Park also says a recently formed crisis cabinet met at 6am this morning, including the police commissioner, Karen Webb, and other senior officials from across government agencies, including ambulance and health officials.

He says the priority of the government is ensuring first responders and those in the community get the support they need.

My messages are very simple one. If you need help, please seek help. Help will be provided. We will be having mental health staff down at Bondi over the course of the next few days to provide that support. People can access mental health support directly through the government. We don’t want people to suffer alone.

This is a very, very traumatic event and something that likes many people have not seen or witnessed before and we understand that can have a devastating impact on people’s mental health and well being.

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Updated at 19.08 EDT

Injured baby in ‘critical condition’

The NSW health minister, Ryan Park, is speaking to the ABC to give an update on those being treated.

He says there are “around nine patients” transferred to hospitals across the Sydney CBD and another three people have arrived at hospital overnight on their own volition.

Park said he personally attended the children’s hospital in Randwick and spoke directly with the nurses and clinicians who are treating a nine-month-old baby who was injured in the attack.

She had surgery overnight and is currently in a critical condition and is in ICU. Now, we certainly are hoping that she gets through this but there is a long way to go and we will keep the community informed as to the update and status of patients that we also have to make sure that we are updating their family and loved ones first.

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Updated at 19.05 EDT

PM praises ‘extraordinary’ bravery of those who confronted attacker

Albanese has also praised the “quite extraordinary” bravery of those who sought to intercept the man as the attack proceeded. The prime minister has described these individuals as “the best of Australians amidst this extraordinary tragedy”.

The PM says he has received messages of support from the US president, Joe Biden, the UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak, and the NZ prime minister, Christopher Luxon, overnight to express their condolences to Australians.

Albanese says the federal government will work with NSW authorities.

We want to make sure that people who need support including support for mental health in dealing with these trauma – these events were witnessed by thousands of people who were there shopping. This is a shopping centre that is very familiar to Sydneysiders. It is very large indeed and for people who were forced to be locked in shops, people who ran from danger, people who confronted that danger, many of them should ensure that if they need that assistance to talk these issues through to deal with this dreadful experience, then they should reach out and that support will be there.

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Updated at 19.10 EDT

Anthony Albanese speaks of ‘unspeakable violence’ at Bondi Junction

The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has described the violence at Bondi Junction as “unspeakable” and “just beyond comprehension”.

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.

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. We also know there are many people still in hospital dealing with a recovery and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

We also though at this time give thanks to our 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.

Share

Updated at 19.11 EDT

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is expected to speak to the media shortly.

Attacker named by police as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi from Queensland

NSW police have named the man who killed five women and one man at Bondi Junction in a mass stabbing incident on Saturday as Joel Cauchi, a 40-year-old man from Queensland.

They have reiterated that there is no evidence Cauchi acted with “any particular ideology or motivation”.

Assistant commissioner Anthony Cooke, the central metropolitan region commander, also praised the conduct of Amy Scott, the officer who shot the assailant.

Share

Updated at 19.13 EDT

NSW police call for privacy for those at stabbing incident

Cooke has also called on the public and the media to respect the privacy of those who have been caught up in this incident.

I will just reinforce the fact that if there are people out there who have not spoken with the police and they have information, would you please make yourself known to us and very clearly I would ask that people just respect the privacy of people in this very, very difficult time.

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Updated at 18.53 EDT

Police to examine possibility attacker may have set out to harm women

Asked whether the attacker may have explicitly set out to harm women, Cooke says police will “canvass that possibility” as the investigation continues.

He does, however, say that he is “proud” of the actions of the officer who confronted the man and says she will receive “all the support that she requires”.

Cooke has also praised those who did “very, very brave things in these circumstances”.

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Updated at 19.14 EDT

Cooke: not possible to ‘know what anyone’s motivations have been’

Cooke is asked about information being shared on social media about the perpetrator. He reiterates that it is not possible to “know what anyone’s motivations have been”.

I am clarifying what we know has been involved. I would hope people would respect everybody’s privacy and feelings in this matter. There are people suffering terribly and everybody should respect those people.

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Updated at 19.16 EDT

NSW police say mental health dimension to Bondi Junction attack

Cooke says “nothing that we have, no information we have received, no evidence we have recovered, no intelligence we have gathered that would suggest that this was driven by any particular motivation, ideology or otherwise”.

We know that the offender in the matter suffered, suffers from mental health. We are continuing to work through the profiling of the offender but very clearly to us at this stage it would appear that this is related to the mental health of the individual involved. Investigations will very clearly continue through the day.

Cooke says police are still working to establish what occurred at the crime scene.

We will make arrangements promptly to ensure that people are advised how they can go about retrieving whatever that might be, including for example motor vehicles. But, as you would understand, it is absolutely necessary that we do what is necessary to ensure that we provide a detailed and precise brief of evidence in relation to this incident which has occurred yesterday.

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Updated at 18.54 EDT

NSW police give update on Bondi Junction mass stabbing

Assistant commissioner Anthony Cooke, the central metropolitan region commander, is speaking now to reporters in Sydney.

Cooke confirms that there are six families who have been contacted for the five women and one man killed. Two of the victims appear to have no family in Australia and police are working to contact their family overseas.

There are also “a number of people” who remain in hospital receiving treatment for injuries. Cooke says many are in a “serious but stable condition”, including a young child.

Police are also seeking witness statements and footage from people who were present at the scene and have asked people to come forward with that material.

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Updated at 18.38 EDT

Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke, Central Metropolitan Region Commander is expected to speak to media in five minutes to give an update on the NSW police investigation into the mass stabbing at Bondi junction.

We will bring you the latest as it happens.

Masselos says locals are heading to Bondi Junction to lay tributes to show respect to the victims and to help “process” the event.

We are certainly inviting them to lay attribute if they so wish to stop but the main thing to lay a tribute if they wish.

Paula Masselos, the mayor of Waverley, is speaking to the ABC now.

Masselos says she was in chambers when she heard about the “terrible unfolding tragedy on the news”. She says that very soon after that she began to be contacted by emergency services.

It was complete disbelief because Waverley is such a safe place. It is a place that people come and visit. Bondi Junction Westfields is a place that a lot of young people will come and parents know their kids are safe there so it is completely and utterly with disbelief and shock that we heard this and today still completely shattered that something like this has actually happened here. It is hard to process.

Masselos also praised the swift action by first responders.

People are reaching out again, absolutely shocked but also appreciative of the fact that the first responders came very, very quickly and that they were able to be reassured that the perpetrator was someone who was not ideologically driven and that the community is safe.

It is very, very key. But what is even more astounding or awe-inspiring at the amazing acts of bravery about everyday people who were there in Bondi Junction who were actually running towards helping people.

It actually shows and demonstrates the kind of community we are. It is a very tight knit community. People know each other very well and I think just processing that is taking a little bit of time but again, it is a community that has come together and what I am urging people to do is if they feel they actually need assistance, don’t hesitate, get onto Lifeline.

A little more from Allegra Spender’s interview with the ABC this morning.

The independent federal MP says the community has been rocked by the attack, with Bondi Junction a gathering point for young families and young people.

A lot of our kids go there for the movies, you know, just to go shopping and just to hang out and I think a lot of us are struggling with how do we talk to our children about this, with the shocking images.

Spender says it is important to remember that in the moment many members of the community rose to the occasion as they sought to help people in their darkest moment.

The second message, the second piece is really trying to in this really awful moment trying to remember that there were those hundreds of thousands of people who at that darkest moment said look, how can we help each other, how can we stand together and we have to remember that as much as remember that because we are all – it could have been any of us and I think we all just thinking about the families and friends of those who are affected.

NSW police to give update on Bondi Junction stabbings at 8.30am

NSW Police will provide an update on the investigation into the stabbing at Bondi Junction at 8.30am.

Police were initially expected to speak to the media at 8am but the press conference has been pushed back by half an hour.

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Updated at 18.07 EDT

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers will speak to ABC Insiders David Speers this morning.

We will bring you all the latest as it happens.

Allegra Spender says Bondi stabbings will leave Sydney in shock

Allegra Spender, the independent MP for Wentworth, has just been on ABC 24, saying she had received assurances from police that the attacher was acting alone.

“The real tragedy, I think, of yesterday [is that] Sydney is a big place [and] thousands and thousands of people will be affected.

“Everybody knows somebody who was there yesterday and I think this will be reverberating across the community for some time.

“My job for today will be to be out and about and really there for the community as much as I possibly can.”

She said she was extremely grateful to the police officers who attended the scene and that she expected that over the coming days the stories of “hundreds of people helping each other” would come out.

“A lot of us are struggling with how do we talk to our children about this, with the shocking images.”

The member for Wentworth, Allegra Spender. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
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Updated at 18.10 EDT

Welcome

A mass stabbing at a Sydney shopping centre where an attacker was shot dead by a senior police officer has shocked Australia as investigations into the incident continue.

Six people, five women and one man, were killed in the attack at the Bondi Junction shopping centre and several others were injured. A nine-month-old baby was among those stabbed and was undergoing surgery, the NSW police commissioner, Karen Webb, told reporters on Saturday.

She said police were confident there was no ongoing threat and the attacker, believed to be a 40-year-old man, acted alone. The centre is closed and will be an active crime scene for days.

Police are not ruling anything out as they begin a “lengthy and precise” investigation but there was no indication of “any motive or ideology” in the early stages of the investigation, NSW police assistant commissioner Tony Cooke earlier told reporters.

The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, said the attack was a horrific act of violence indiscriminately targeting innocent people, and praised the actions of a nearby NSW police inspector who responded alone as hundreds of shoppers fled the scene.

The NSW premier, Chris Minns, said it was a shocking day in the state’s history.

Australian federal police commissioner Reece Kershaw said the AFP was providing support and that Asio and other agencies were involved in briefings.

King Charles said in a statement overnight that he and Queen Camilla were “utterly shocked and horrified to hear of the tragic stabbing incident in Bondi”.

Pope Francis also expressed his sadness at the “senseless tragedy” and offered his “spiritual closeness” to all those affected.

NSW police are expected to give an update around 8am.

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