Tributes flow for 6 victims killed in Australia mall stabbing

By Thomson Reuters Apr 13, 2024 | 7:36 PM

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Tributes flowed on Sunday for the six people killed in a random stabbing attack carried out on Saturday in a busy shopping centre in New South Wales capital Sydney.

Those killed included 38-year-old woman Ash Good, the mother of a nine-month-old girl wounded in the attack, Australia’s Channel Nine news site reported.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Sunday he had received condolences messages from counterparts.

“I’ve received messages overnight from the leaders, including from President Biden, Prime Minister Sunak, Prime Minister Luxon and others in our region as well, expressing their condolences,” Albanese said in Canberra, according to a transcript.

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns said on X late on Saturday that his “thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the police and emergency service responders”.

Tributes also came in from the British royal family including King Charles, the official head of state in Australia.

“Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who have been so brutally killed during such a senseless attack,” a statement from the king said on the royal family’s X account.

Prince William and Princess Kate said on X that their “thoughts are with all those affected, including the loved ones of those lost and the heroic emergency responders who risked their own lives to save others”.

From the Vatican, a top cardinal said Pope Francis was “deeply saddened to learn of the violent attack in Sydney”.

“He sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all affected by this senseless tragedy, especially those who are now mourning the loss of a loved one,” the Vatican telegram said.

Police have named the attacker as 40-year-old Queensland man Joel Cauchi. Authorities say Cauchi, shot dead by police at the scene, suffered mental health issues and have ruled out terror or ideology as a motive.

Attacks such as the one on Saturday are rare in Australia, a country of about 26 million people that has some of the world’s toughest gun and knife laws.

(Reporting by Sam McKeith in Sydney; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)