How An Indian-Origin Couple Survived Horrific Sydney Mall Knife Attack

Sydney: Saturday’s horrific knife attack at a crowded shopping centre in Bondi Junction was a nightmare in daylight for hundreds of people who were witness to the scary mayhem.


Five people lost their lives at the scene, while another woman succumbed to her injuries at a hospital. Several other wounded persons were taken to hospitals, of whom eight are still in serious condition.

Among those who had a very close brush with death were an Indian-origin couple – Shoi Ghoshal and her husband Debashis Chakrabarty.

The two, who were at Westfield shopping centre, recounted the horror story and how they survived.

Ghoshal told BBC that they hid themselves along with 20 to 25 people others in a backroom.

“We went into a backroom, a storeroom, and used boxes to barricade ourselves in,” said Ghoshal.

“It was just beyond horrible. It plays on your mind that you could have been one of the victims. We are grateful we are safe and our thoughts are with those who have suffered. It is terrible for their families,” she told the BBC.

They first had an inkling of the crisis when they heard some people saying “someone is stabbing rampantly”.

Once they found a hiding place, some from the group made calls to the police, who updated them on what was happening and advised them to “stay there, stay calm.”

Once the attacker, identified as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi, was eliminated by a brave police officer and authorities were certain that he had no accomplice, Ghoshal and the others were evacuated through the mall’s emergency exit.

NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Anthony Cooke told newspersons on Sunday that Cauchi suffered from some mental health issues.

“We are continuing to work through the profiling of the offender but very clearly to us at this stage it would appear that this is related to the mental health of the individual involved,” Cooke said.

“There is still, to this point no information we have received, no evidence we have recovered, no intelligence that we have gathered that would suggest that this was driven by any particular motivation – ideology or otherwise,” he added.

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