Sydney knife attacker may have targeted women

    Sydney police are investigating a shopping centre stabbing spree in Bondi where Joel Cauchi killed six, mostly women, suggesting a possible gender-targeted attack. Cauchi's father disclosed his son's mental health issues and frustrations with women. Inspector Amy Scott fatally shot Cauchi during the incident, which appears not to be ideologically motivated. An inquest into the attack was announced, with no changes to security guard firearm regulations.

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    Police in Sydney are investigating the possibility that the attacker who fatally stabbed six people at a shopping centre in the city’s beachside suburb of Bondi may have specifically targeted women. This comes as the attacker’s father revealed details about his son’s mental health struggles and frustrations with women.

    40-year-old Joel Cauchi was seen roaming through the busy Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday with a large knife, clad in shorts and an Australian national rugby league jersey. Five of his six victims were women, as were the majority of the 12 injured.

    He was confronted on the fifth floor after a pursuit through the mall and subsequently shot dead by Inspector Amy Scott, who acted alone.

    The attacker’s father, Andrew Cauchi, spoke to reporters on Monday, expressing his devastation at the news. He revealed that his son had a long history of mental illness and difficulties with women.

    Socially awkward

    “He wanted a girlfriend but lacked social skills, and it clearly frustrated him greatly,” Andrew Cauchi told The Australian newspaper.

    He further disclosed taking five US army knives away from Joel during his visit last year, fearing for his own safety.

    These comments came just hours after senior police officers confirmed they were investigating the possibility that Cauchi specifically targeted women.

    “It’s clear to myself and the detectives that there seems to be a focus on women. He appeared to avoid men,” New South Wales state Police Commissioner Karen Webb told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

    “The CCTV footage speaks for itself, doesn’t it? This is certainly a key area of inquiry for us.”

    Authorities have emphasised that there’s no current indication that ideology played a role in the attack.

    The only male victim was 30-year-old security guard Faraz Tahir, who had arrived in Australia as a refugee from Pakistan just last year according to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia, with whom he was affiliated.

    On Monday, authorities identified the sixth victim as Yixuan Cheng, a Chinese national studying in the country. The New South Wales government announced a A$18 million (approximately 10,95 million euros) independent coronial inquest into the attack. However, Premier Chris Minns ruled out introducing new regulations that would allow private security guards to carry firearms.


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