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Six dead in mass stabbing at Sydney shopping center

Six people have been killed and several others injured, including a child, in a mass stabbing at a busy shopping center in Sydney, Australian police said.

Police were called to Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday afternoon local time following reports of multiple people stabbed. Witnesses described scene of panic with some forced to hide in shops as the attack unfolded.

The suspect – who police said acted alone – was shot dead at the scene by a lone officer.

New South Wales Police’s Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke said a senior police inspector was nearby when the attack unfolded.

She arrived on the scene first and was alone when she engaged with the attacker. She shot the offender when he raised a knife at her.

“She discharged her firearm, and that person is now deceased,” Cooke said.

The officer was also seen in videos on social media administering CPR to those who had been injured.

The suspect encountered nine people after he entered the mall at 3:10 pm local time, according to police. He left and reentered the mall at 3:20 pm before carrying out his attack.

No information has been given as to the perpetrator’s identity or a possible motive but Cooke said they were “not ruling anything out.”

After warning people to stay away from the area police say the incident is now over.

‘Pandemonium’

Videos shared on social media show shoppers running from multiple exits of the shopping center, while police helicopters can be heard overhead.

Two male eyewitnesses told 9 News they saw a baby and mother stabbed.

“We were holding the baby and trying to compress the baby,” one said. “Same with the mother, trying to compress the blood from stopping.”

Another man described seeing a man in a green shirt stabbing others “indiscriminately.”

“[We just heard] screaming, screaming and it didn’t seem that long before we heard ‘boom boom boom’ of the gunshot and we thought, ‘We hope it’s the police,’” the witness told Australia’s state broadcaster ABC. “It was just carnage.”

In a televised address, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the attack was “beyond words or understanding.”

He continued: “Today Bondi Junction was the scene of shocking violence. But it was also witness to the humanity and the heroism of our fellow Australians.

“Our brave police, our first responders, and of course everyday people who could never have imagined they would face such a moment.”

Mass casualty events are rare in Australia. At least four people were killed and one injured in a mass shooting in Darwin, northern Australia in 2019.

April 1996 saw a mass shooting which became known as the Port Arthur massacre – the deadliest in Australia’s modern history – when 35 people were killed in the tourist town in the state of Tasmania.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated

This post appeared first on cnn.com

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