Family of Sydney rampage assailant supports police actions, shares grief

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Joel Cauchi

14th April 2024 – (Sydney) The family of Joel Cauchi, who tragically killed six people in a frenzied attack at Westfield Bondi Junction, has expressed support for the police officer who fatally shot him. This incident occurred after Joel used a knife to both kill and injure several others at the busy shopping centre.

In a statement released through Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Roger Lowe, the family, while grappling with their profound loss, conveyed their backing for the swift police action that ended the rampage. Assistant Commissioner Lowe, speaking from Brisbane, detailed Joel’s previous encounters with the police, primarily linked to mental health issues rather than criminal activity.

“The family is enduring an unimaginably tough time, yet their first thoughts were for the victims and the police officer forced to make a critical decision under extreme circumstances,” Lowe explained.

According to police details, Joel had been living a transient lifestyle, occasionally staying in his car or at backpacker hostels, with sporadic contact with his family. His last known interaction with the police was in December, with no indications of his capacity for such violence as seen on Saturday.

Just days before the tragedy, Joel had been active on social media, innocuously seeking companionship for surfing at Bondi Beach. His posts over the years, often in hobby groups on Facebook, painted a picture of a man keen on activities like astrophotography and outdoor adventures, without hinting at his underlying struggles.

The family’s reaction highlights the complex layers of personal tragedy and societal impact stemming from mental health issues. As they cooperate with the ongoing investigation, their focus remains on the victims and the broader community affected by this devastating event.