Heartbreak And Horror: Parents Of Sydney Attacker Speak Out

By Victor Smiroff | Tuesday, 16 April 2024 12:00 PM
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In the aftermath of the tragic stabbing incident at Sydney's bustling Westfield Bondi Junction, the assailant's parents have expressed their profound regret, revealing their son's struggle with mental illness and social isolation.

Joel Cauchi, a 40-year-old Sydney resident, embarked on a deadly rampage through the crowded shopping centre on Saturday, wielding a large knife. The attack resulted in the deaths of six individuals and left 12 others injured, including an infant of just nine months.

Inspector Amy Scott, who courageously confronted Cauchi alone on the shopping centre's fifth floor, ultimately shot and killed him, bringing an end to the pursuit.

Andrew Cauchi, the attacker's father, addressed the media on Monday outside their residence. He expressed his deep sorrow for the victims of his son's violent act, stating, "I am extremely sorry," and acknowledging his heartbreak for their loss.

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The elder Cauchi, 76, revealed his son's long-standing battle with mental illness. "I made myself a servant to my son when I found out he had a mental illness," he said. "He's my son. And I'm loving a monster - to you, he's a monster. To me, he was a very sick boy."

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He further disclosed his son's frustration stemming from his inability to form romantic relationships due to his lack of social skills. Mr. Cauchi also mentioned that he had previously confiscated five US army knives from his son, fearing potential harm.

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These revelations came in the wake of police investigations suggesting that the attacker may have specifically targeted women. "It's obvious to me, it's obvious to detectives that seems to be an area of interest that the offender had focused on women and avoided the men," New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

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The only male victim of the attack was Faraz Tahir, a 30-year-old security guard and Pakistani refugee who had arrived in Australia last year. The other victims, all women, were identified as Yixuan Cheng, Jade Young, Dawn Singleton, Pikria Darchia, and Ashlee Good.

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A makeshift memorial outside the mall was adorned with thousands of flowers and wreaths on Monday, as hundreds from across the city came to pay their respects. Wren Wyatt, a local resident, expressed her shock at the incident, saying, "It's shocking something like this could happen so close to home."

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In a nationwide display of mourning, the Australian national flag is being flown at half-mast, including at the Parliament House and Sydney's Harbour Bridge. The Sydney Opera House has been illuminated with a black ribbon in honour of the victims.

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