Questions raised about Bondi Junction killer Joel Cauchi’s motive – as police source claims he was ‘definitely targeting women’

Police believe killer Joel Cauchi was ‘targeting women’ after fatally stabbing six people in a horror rampage at Westfield Bondi Junction.

Cauchi, 40, murdered six innocent people and left others critically injured after he entered the shopping centre wielding a 30cm knife on Saturday at about 3.20pm.

The attack ended when NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott, who was patrolling nearby, sprinted into the Westfield and single-handedly confronted Cauchi before shooting him dead.

His victims included five women and one man:

  • Ashlee Good, a mother whose nine-month daughter was also stabbed.
  • Dawn Singleton, the daughter of multi-millionaire advertising guru John Singleton.
  • Mother-of-two and architect Jade Young. Her baby was also stabbed and is recovering in Sydney Children’s Hospital.
  • Bondi Junction woman Pikria Darchia
  • Westfield security guard and refugee Faraz Tahi

The 40-year-old’s motives have yet to be confirmed, but a police source claims investigators believe Cauchi was ‘definitely targeting women’.

The source explained police had viewed extensive footage of Cauchi’s movements throughout the shopping centre and observed him selecting his victims.

‘I don’t think there’s any other way to look at it,’ the source told the Daily Telegraph.

‘You can see on the footage he walks past other people. He just keeps moving past them and then attacks a woman.’

Police Commissioner Karen Webb on Sunday confirmed the question of Cauchi targeting women was an ‘obvious line of enquiry’.

Cauchi was known to police and had been living in Sydney sporadically over the past couple of years.

Cauchi was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 17, and it’s understood he has a history of being obsessed with knives.

While living with his parents in Toowoomba, south-east Queensland, they became so worried about his fixation that they took his knives away from him.

His parents, Andrew and Michele, both in their 70s, declined to speak with media after describing their son’s stabbing spree as ‘truly horrific’.

The devastated pair recognised their son from footage on TV and made a frantic phone call to police.

The Cauchis said in their statement on Sunday that they have ‘no issues’ with Inspector Scott’s actions or that of the NSW Police.

‘We are absolutely devastated by the traumatic events that occurred in Sydney yesterday,’ they said.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims and those still undergoing treatment at this time.

‘Joel’s actions were truly horrific, and we are still trying to comprehend what has happened.

‘He has battled with mental health issues since he was a teenager.

‘We are in contact with both the New South Wales Police Force and Queensland Police Service and have no issues with the Police Officer who shot our son as she was only doing her job to protect others and we hope she is coping alright.’

The Cauchis have lived in the Toowoomba suburb of Rockville for 46 years, and last saw their son a few months ago when the 40-year-old went home for Christmas.

Police are currently searching through a ‘very small storage facility’ in Sydney that Cauchi rented out shortly after his move from Brisbane to Sydney.

He was reportedly sleeping rough and had no fixed address.

Just six days before the attack, Cauchi invited Sydneysiders to join him for a surf at Bondi Beach in a post shared to a Facebook group for beginner surfers.

Cauchi wrote: ‘Hi I am surfing Bondi this afternoon if anyone wants to meet there for a surf!’

In another post, shared in December 2020 to an outdoor adventure Facebook group for Brisbane residents, Cauchi explained he wanted to meet with people who shoot guns.

‘Hi I am looking for groups of people who shoot guns, including handguns, to meet up with, chat with and get to know. Please send me DM if you can help me out! I live in Brisbane by the way,’ Cauchi wrote.

Social media users noticed the alarming post hours after police identified Cauchi.

‘Thank goodness you didn’t get your hands on a gun… the devastation you have caused is horrible enough,’ one person wrote.