Monday, June 17, 2024

Baby wounded in Sydney stabbing now out of hospital – BBC News

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  • By Katy Watson & Mattea Bubalo
  • BBC News, Bondi Beach and London

Image caption, Six people were killed in the attack at Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall

A baby girl injured in the stabbing attack in a Sydney mall has been released from hospital.

The nine-month-old daughter of Ashlee Good, who died protecting her, would continue to receive care from doctors, a health official said.

The girl underwent surgery at Sydney Children’s Hospital after suffering chest and arm injuries.

Six people were killed in the rampage at Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall, five of them women, on 13 April.

Joel Cauchi, 40, sent the crowded complex into panic when he began stabbing people with a long blade. He was later shot dead by police.

The attack has horrified Australia, where mass killings are rare.

Hours after news of the baby’s hospital discharge, thousands of people gathered on Bondi Beach in Sydney to honour those who died in a vigil.

In the crowd were babies in buggies, their parents and grandparents. Political leaders, as well as emergency workers who dealt with the attack, also took part.

Everyone was asked to light a candle in memory of the victims, their flames flickering in the sea breeze.

Video caption, Watch: ”We felt we should honour a mum in our community” – people explain why they’re attending the vigil

Many children gripped knitted teddies handed out by the Australian Red Cross as they watched with their families.

Addressing the event, New South Wales Premier Chris Minns said no woman should have to live in fear.

An indigenous didgeridoo was played as people lit candles. Mr Albanese told the vigil everyone had gathered to “grieve for all that has been stolen from us”.

“We offer the condolences of this community, our city, our state and our entire nation to all who loved them the most,” he said.

Last weekend, two brothers said they tried to help Ms Good and her child by using shirts from a shop they were sheltering in to stop the bleeding.

One of the brothers told 9News Sydney: “[We] ran in, told the guys to lock up the doors and then the mother came with the baby bleeding, stabbed, and we got them into the store and just got them safe and then rang for help.”

He added that his brother “helped with holding the baby, and trying to compress the baby, and [the] same with the mother”.

Image source, Family handout

Image caption, A GoFundMe has been set up in the name of Ashlee Good, the baby’s mother

A GoFundMe campaign set up in Ashlee Good’s name has raised nearly A$670,000 ($430,000; £347,500) for her daughter.

The baby girl was in hospital after the attack, along with several others. She was moved from intensive care earlier this week.

Confirming her release on Sunday, New South Wales Health minister Ryan Park said: “At the request of the family, I strongly urge the media and community to respect their right to privacy at this extremely difficult time.”

This weekend, shoppers returned to Westfield – but to a different reality. There was far more police presence and the security guards wore stab vests.

Black ribbons were beamed on every screen inside the mall in remembrance. Some shops remained shut.

Outside, the mountain of flowers left by locals paying their respects is still growing by the day.

Steph Davies-Evans, who is originally from Wales, was shopping in the Westfield at the time of the attack and has been back here several times. She also attended the vigil.

“It’s been a very emotional week. There are lots of different emotions going on and I’m trying to make sense of them all.” she told the BBC.

“Obviously I feel relief that I was able to get out of the centre safely. But then you feel very guilty because it’s very upsetting for the people who weren’t able to get out and their families.”

A special force has been created to investigate the attack, with New South Wales Police saying it could take months to present its findings.

Police will try to find out how and why Cauchi, who is from the state of Queensland, committed such violence.

He had been known to police, but had never been arrested or charged in Queensland.

Cauchi had lived itinerantly for several years and was first diagnosed with a mental illness at 17, Queensland Police said.

Video caption, Watch: Witnesses describe moment Sydney mall attack

There is additional reporting from Simon Atkinson in Sydney.

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