Bondi Junction stabbings: killer Joel Cauchi may have targeted women and children, NSW police say | Bondi Junction stabbings

NSW Police are investigating whether Bondi Junction killer Joel Couch deliberately targeted women and children, as the NSW Government announces a brutal investigation into a stabbing.

A motive is not yet clear, but Police Commissioner Karen Webb confirmed Monday that investigators will look into whether Couch specifically targeted women and children.

Webb said the video of the incident, which went viral online, “speaks for itself.”

“It’s clear that the offender’s focus on women and avoidance of men is an area of ​​interest for me and the detectives,” she said.

Police are also speaking to Mr Couch’s family and other people from Queensland who knew him and may have had contact with him in New South Wales before the assault.

Couch’s Queensland-based father, Andrew, said his son had been mentally ill since he was a teenager and was a “very sick boy” and his family was “doing everything in their power” to help him. He said he came.

“He’s my son and I love Monster,” he said.

“To you, he is a monster. To me, he was a very sick boy.”

Andrew said his son was “doing so well that he stopped taking his medication and then left for Brisbane.”

His mother, Michele, said her son hurts for the people he hurt.

“He was raised in love,” she said.

“If he was in his right mind, he would be completely devastated by what he did.”

Mr Couch’s interactions with other government agencies, including police and medical professionals in both states, will be scrutinized when a criminal investigation into the incident begins following an $18 million injection from the state government. .

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns also ordered a review of security guards’ powers, while ruling out handing them firearms or stun guns.

“Families are in mourning today, their lives destroyed as a result of these criminal acts, and our thoughts are with those families,” he said.

“The people who were killed were entitled, innocent people who had their whole lives ahead of them. Whether we knew the people who were killed personally or not, the community will mourn their loss. I am devastated.”

Flowers continue to be laid outside shopping centers in the eastern suburbs, which also serve as service and transport hubs for residents and tourists heading to Sydney’s famous beaches such as Bondi.

Families of six Sydney stabbing victims will be given time to explore the shopping center where their loved ones were murdered on Saturday before it opens to the public.

On Monday, Elliot Roussano, CEO of Westfield’s parent company, Centre Group, visited, and emotional residents and loved ones laid flowers at the site.

Rousanou said management has been working with police and the victim’s family to facilitate visits to the center, which was handed over to the owners by police on Monday morning.

“Whether we can allow the families of the victims to come and pay their respects…that will determine when and how the center reopens,” he said.

The family of refugee and security guard Faraz Tahir, who died trying to keep others safe, are expected to arrive in Sydney later this week.

Fellow foreigner and University of Sydney student Yishuan Chen was the last confirmed victim on Monday.

Chinese Australia based media The media reported that Chen’s fiance said he had spoken to her shortly before the attack.

“At around 3 p.m., she happily talked to me and tried on the clothes to show me, but when she hung up, I didn’t realize the attack had taken place,” said a woman surnamed Wang. said the man.

Mr. Wang said that as soon as he heard the news of the attack, his “heart raced” and he tried to call Mr. Zheng back, but he did not pick up. He said he and her family were glued to the news and prayed for her safety until they received a call from the Chinese embassy.

An embassy spokesperson said they were “deeply shocked and saddened” by the death and said another Chinese national was seriously injured in the attack.

“We would like to express our deepest condolences to the victims, extend our deepest sympathies to the bereaved families, and pray for the early recovery of the injured,” the spokesperson said.

Eight people, including victim Ashley Goode’s baby, remained in the hospital on Monday, but her condition had improved since Sunday.