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Sydney mall attack: Dads jump into action during crisis

Author
Rachel Maher,
Publish Date
Sun, 14 Apr 2024, 3:42pm

Sydney mall attack: Dads jump into action during crisis

Author
Rachel Maher,
Publish Date
Sun, 14 Apr 2024, 3:42pm

Two dads are being praised on social media for their bravery in the wake of the Sydney mall stabbing spree that has left several dead and injured.

Seven people are dead - including an attacker shot dead by a policewoman who is being credited for her bravery - and eight more, including a baby, are in hospital with knife wounds after a mass stabbing at a busy Sydney shopping centre.

Two children can be seen clinging to their dad in one video going viral on social media from outside the mall.

Their eyes were covered by sleeping masks in an attempt to shield them from the horrors that took place while they shopped.

He led them away from the shopping centre in a clip shared on the local news.

Social media users praised the dad’s actions.

“Imagine being that father having to do that to protect your kids’ sanity. Amazing dad,” one said.

“That man covered their eyes so they wouldn’t see the horrors of what had just happened. That’s a bloody amazing father,” another wrote.

Another heroic dad is being spotlighted on social media for not backing down when approached by the knifeman.

In a video shared online, a family is walking in the mall when they turn and realise the attack is right on their heels.

The dad puts his body between the man and his wife and two young daughters to protect them before the attacker runs off in another direction.

Police haven’t confirmed the identity of the attacker, and at this stage, there was no indication of a political or religious ideology behind the attack, Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke said.

Based on initial inquiries, he acted alone.

“I am content that there is no continuing threat … [but] we’re not ruling anything out”, he said of the investigation, which would be “lengthy and precise”.

Among the victims at Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre are a 9-month-old baby who was taken to Sydney Children’s Hospital and who was undergoing surgery last night.

Some of those injured were believed to be seriously or critically ill, Cooke said.

“The baby got stabbed. The mum got stabbed and the mum came over with the baby and threw it at me … it looked pretty bad”, a man told a 9 News reporter after the 3.20pm incident (5.20pm NZT).

The baby’s brave mother, 38-year-old Ash Good, died from her wounds in hospital.

Ash Good, 38, was among the six shoppers killed at Sydney's Bondi Westfield mall on Saturday April 13.
Ash Good, 38, was among the six shoppers killed at Sydney's Bondi Westfield mall on Saturday April 13.

Those inside the mall spoke of their fear as the incident unfolded.

A young witness locked inside a store told the Telegraph she heard gunshots and “blood-curdling” screams.

Another woman, in tears, told ABC News she heard gunshots as she hid in a backroom.

“Who does that to people? … I just came out of the gym, I was living my life and then I thought I was going to die.”

The incident was “shocking and appalling”, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with the victims, the loved ones of those killed and injured, and the Australian people.”

Any New Zealanders affected should follow the directions of local authorities. They should call +64 99 20 20 20 if they needed consular assistance.

Rachel Maher is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. She has worked for the Herald since 2022.

This article was originally published on the NZ Herald here. 

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