Updated April 14th, 2024 at 02:39 IST

Barricaded in Backroom: How This Indian-Origin Couple Survived the Sydney Mall Attack

On Saturday, a 40-year-old-man reportedly went on a stabbing spree in a Sydney mall that resulted in at least six deaths.

Reported by: Digital Desk
At least six people were killed during the attack on the Westfield Shopping Centre in Sydney. | Image:AP

Sydney: An Indian-origin couple reportedly survived the tragic attack on a Sydney shopping centre on Saturday by hiding away in a backroom with several others even as an attacker stabbed and killed at least six people. Speaking to the BBC, Shoi Ghoshal said that she and her husband, Debashis Chakrabarty, were at the Westfield shopping mall when the attack commenced. 

Ghoshal and her husband were inside a store when it became evident to the pair that something was wrong. She said that people were rushing around the store and that the couple initially thought this was as a result of a fire.


But, after hearing from several people that someone had gone on a stabbing spree in the mall, the couple decided to hide in a backroom which they barricaded using several cardboard boxes. She estimated that some 20-25 people were sheltering inside. 

Ghosal said an elderly woman was crying for her husband who was still on the outside. She explained how when the group made calls to the police, they relayed to them what was happening and told them to “stay there, stay calm”.


The group was later evacuated through the emergency exit of the mall, where they were met with the sight of a swarm of police cars.

“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.


Four women and one man died at the scene, while a fifth woman died from her injuries at a hospital, police said.

Eight people are being treated for their injuries at hospitals around Sydney, including a nine-month-old baby who was last reported to be in surgery, reported the BBC.


Authorities say the suspect is a 40-year-old man, but are waiting for formal identification and say it’s “too early to speculate” about his motivations.

Police say the suspect entered the shopping centre at Bondi Junction at around 15:10 local time and then left “very shortly after” before returning 10 minutes later and moving through the mall, the report said.


A senior female officer on a routine round was the first to respond. She saw the suspect, who lunged at her before she shot him dead, police said.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese praised the officer as a “hero”. She conducted CPR until the arrival of paramedics but the suspect could not be revived.


Police believe the suspect acted alone and that there is no ongoing risk to the public. 

With inputs from PTI. 


Published April 13th, 2024 at 21:08 IST