Family of Sydney mall attacker offer 'condolences' to son's victims

Agence France-Presse
Family of Sydney mall attacker offer 'condolences' to son's victims
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (C) stands with New South Wales Premier Chris Minns (4th R) and other officials as they prepare to leave flowers outside the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall in Sydney on April 14, 2024, the day after a 40-year-old knifeman with mental illness roamed the packed shopping centre killing six people and seriously wounding a dozen others.
AFP / David Gray

SYDNEY Australia — Australian police on Sunday said the parents of a man who killed six people in a Sydney shopping center had offered condolences to their son's victims and their families.

Queensland police assistant commissioner Roger Lowe said the parents of the man had also sent a message of "support" to the officer who shot him dead, "expressing their concerns for her welfare."

The 40-year-old attacker has been named as Joel Cauchi, an itinerant with a history of mental health problems.

Lowe said Cauchi had been diagnosed with an unspecified mental illness at age 17, but police were still trying to establish what prompted a violent change in his behavior.

He is said to have been in contact with police several times over the last four to five years but has never been arrested or charged with any offence.

Cauchi is said to have had limited and sporadic contact with his parents since moving to Sydney, with contact limited to occasional text messages.

"We believe he has been sleeping in a vehicle or backpacks (hostels)" Lowe said.

Police are investigating whether Cauchi had targeted women specifically, but he is not believed to have any religious, ideological or terror motive.

Five of his victims who died were women, and one was a male security guard.

"He has not been prosecuted or arrested or charged for any offence within Queensland. And he has no record within the courts for a domestic violence order" Lowe said.

Queensland police indicated they had not been tracking him or did not perceive him as a threat to society.

"We have people in our society who suffer from mental health, they go about their days without trouble without causing these types of crimes" Lowe said.

"Mental health in society is not a crime," he said. "We do not run an intelligence regime on persons who suffer from mental health."

"There would only be an exchange of information if a person were to present such a security risk in society."


If you or someone you know needs help, the National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline can be reached through the following hotlines: toll-free Luzon-wide landline (1553), Globe/TM (0966-351-4518 and 0917-899-8727), or Smart/Sun/TNT (0908-639-2672).

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