Those inside the Westfield Bondi Junction mall in Sydney during the attack described their experiences when a 40-year-old attacker began attacking civilians with a knife at noon on Saturday local time.

An eyewitness spoke to CNN Australia’s 9 News Sydney, describing scenes of panic that ensued with people running through the mall and falling over each other.

Two brothers who were there told 9 News they saw a baby and mother stabbed and tried to help them.

“The baby got stabbed and the mom got stabbed,” one of the brothers said.

“We were holding the baby and trying to squeeze the baby. So did the mother, trying to squeeze the blood to stop.”

One man described seeing a man in a green shirt stabbing others “indiscriminately”.

“[Ακούσαμε] screaming, screaming before we heard the ‘boom boom boom’ of the gunshots and thought, ‘We hope it’s the police,’ he told Australia’s state broadcaster ABC.

“[Ένα άτομο] he died 10 meters away… I grabbed towels and there were three people dying around me. It was just carnage.”

Another man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the ABC the attacker would have continued his deadly rampage if the police officer had not intervened.

“If he hadn’t shot him, he would have carried on, he was in a rage,” he said.

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I was hiding in the store for over an hour

A female eyewitness who was inside the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping center when the attack unfolded described her hiding at the back of a shop.

Crystal Wang explained how, after arriving at the mall around 3:20 p.m. – the moment the attack began – he entered a clothing store where “the girls in the store closed the door behind me and turned off the lights.”

She continued: “I was really confused and they told me someone was stabbing people in the mall. I was hiding in the back of the store, I saw some people running away and then I heard [μερικούς] shooting”.

At first, Crystal thought the power had gone out, before she realized the gravity of the situation she was in.

“A siren went off and shortly after, I heard gunshots and I started to panic, I was worried that the shooter also had a gun,” she said. “Then the sellers asked everyone to hide in their warehouse.”

He added that the announcements by the police probably made the situation worse.

“They were saying ‘all customers please evacuate immediately.’ We were obviously locked inside, we were just confused whether we should leave the store or stay inside.”
Crystal and other shoppers hid for an hour and a half until they were able to leave.

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“Suddenly, people started running”

“Suddenly, people started running. There were a lot of people crying. I ran with them” describes the employee of a store in the mall.

“A situation no one wants to experience”

Brendan Blomeley was with his two children inside Westfield when he heard two shots. “The adrenaline was pumping,” he told ABC. “It was just one of those situations that you don’t want to happen to anybody.”

Blomeley said police and ambulances arrived “within minutes”. “It was scary, it was painful … We were in a store with hundreds of other people.”

“We hid in the warehouse”

A woman, who wishes to remain anonymous and was on level 2 of the mall at the time of the attack, told Guardian Australia: “I heard a scream from somewhere outside. Then a voice. We were then told by the staff that something very serious had happened at the centre. We had to run and hide in a location on the floor that turned out to be a warehouse. There would be about 70 or 80 of us in there. We were told to keep our phones on silent and be quiet. It was very hot in there. There was quite a bit of confusion the whole time we were in there, with some orders to evacuate the building and others to stay put. At one point we vacated the room and then they told us to run back again and get inside. The staff did everything they could. Then they told us to evacuate and we ran out of the Center.”