Family of Sydney attacker say they are praying for his victims' loved ones

Family of Sydney attacker say they are praying for his victims' loved ones

THE FAMILY of a man who fatally stabbed six people at a shopping centre in Sydney on Saturday have said they are praying for the family and friends of the victims.

Four women and one man died at the scene at the Westfield Shopping Centre at Bondi Junction, while another woman passed away later in hospital.

New South Wales Police have named the attacker as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi from Queensland.

The force added that Gauchi was shot after allegedly lunging at a police officer who confronted him at the shopping centre.

He was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics but could not be revived and died at the scene.

'Truly horrific'

In a statement issued through Queensland Police, Cauchi's family said their thoughts were with the victims' loved ones and with the officer involved the shooting.

"We are absolutely devastated by the traumatic events that occurred in Sydney yesterday," they said.

"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."

Mental heath issues

Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Roger Lowe said in a press conference that Cauchi was known to the force but had never been arrested or charged in Queensland.

He added that he had been in contact with police mainly during the last four to five years, during which time they became aware that he had suffered with mental health issues.

He is believed to have been itinerant over the last few years and did not have frequent contact with his family.

Four women aged between 20 and 55 and a man in his 30s died at the scene of Saturday's tragedy.

A 38-year-old woman who was taken to St Vincent's Hospital in a critical condition later passed away.

Twelve others, including nine women, two men and a nine-month-old child, sustained stab wounds and were taken to various Sydney hospitals.


One of the victims is believed to be 38-year-old Ashlee Good, the mother of the baby that was injured in the attack.

Meanwhile, fashion brand White Fox confirmed on social media that one of their employees, 25-year-old Dawn Singleton, was among the victims.

"We are all truly devastated by this loss," read a statement from the firm.

"Dawn was a sweet, kind-hearted person who had her whole life ahead of her. She was really amazing."

Three of the remaining victims have been named as Jade Young, 47, Pikria Darchia, 55, and 30-year-old Faraz Ahmad Tahir, a member of the shopping centre's security team.

Scentre Group, which operates the Westfield complex, said its thoughts were with the families of all those killed and injured.

"We are devastated by Faraz's passing and recognise our team member's bravery and role as a first responder," read a statement.

"Our deepest and heartfelt condolences go out to his family and all who are mourning the loss of loved ones.

"Our thoughts and concerns are also with the families and carers of those injured in the attack and the everyday heroes whose actions prevented further loss of life."