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HomeHeadline newsPakistani man among those killed in Sydney attack

Pakistani man among those killed in Sydney attack

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A 30-year-old Pakistani man was named on Sunday as the security guard killed in a weekend knife attack in a Sydney shopping mall, according to two local community groups.

The Australian Pakistani National Association and Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said Faraz Tahir was killed by a knife-wielding man who also killed five women.

On Sunday evening, members of the Muslim community held a silent vigil for the man, who is said to have moved to Australia last year.

“He quickly became an integral part of our community,” a statement said.

The Australian Pakistani National Association encouraged the community to “stand together in solidarity, offering support and prayers to those grieving and affected by this heartbreaking loss”.

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As the attack unfolded on Saturday, online social media accounts falsely reported that the attack was linked to ideological or religious groups or events in the Middle East.

Police have named the assailant as 40-year-old itinerant man Joel Cauchi who was previously diagnosed with a mental health issue.

New South Wales police Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke said there was no evidence to suggest Cauchi was “driven by any particular motivation, ideology or otherwise”.

Horrific attack

Six people were killed in the attack as Cauchi roved through a packed shopping centre in the city’s Bondi Junction neighbourhood with a large knife. Twelve more people are still in hospital.

“The sound of people screaming was horrific,” said eyewitness Daphi Kiselstein, who was shopping at the time of the attack and took refuge in a store with other terrified people.

Among the victims was 38-year-old mother Ashlee Good, who succumbed to her injuries after desperately passing her baby to two strangers in the hope they could save the child’s life.

Good’s family described her as “a beautiful mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend, all round outstanding human and so much more”.

“To the two men who held and cared for our baby when Ashlee could not – words cannot express our gratitude”, they said in a statement to Australian media.

The baby, named Harriet, was said to be recovering well after lengthy surgery.

Two of the victims are said to have no family in Australia and attempts are being made to contact relatives overseas.

Cauchi was tracked down and shot dead by solo senior police officer Amy Scott, who was instantly hailed by Australia’s prime minister as a “hero” who had saved countless lives.

Mental health issues

Cauchi’s parents said their son had been living in a vehicle and hostels of late, and was only in sporadic contact via text messages.

Police said he was diagnosed with a mental health issue at age 17, but they had no indication about why he may have become violent.

His parents issued a statement through police offering condolences to their son’s victims and their families.

They had also sent a message of “support” to the officer who shot him dead, “expressing their concerns for her welfare.”

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

He is believed to have travelled to Sydney about a month ago and hired a small storage unit in the city. It contained personal belongings, including a boogie board. (AFP)

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