Sydney mall stabbing: Kolkata couple hid behind cartons to escape Joel Cauchi, thanks store employees for locking them in

Techies Debashis and Sairindhri took shelter at a store's back room

Bondi Junction A man reacts after placing flowers as a tribute near a crime scene at Bondi Junction in Sydney | AP

Among the survivors of Saturday's stabbing spree at Sydney's Westfield Bondi Junction complex was a couple from Kolkata. Sairindhri Ghoshal and Debashis Chakrabarty took cover behind cartons at a store in the mall as Joel Cauchi claimed six lives before being gunned down by a police officer.

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Sairindhri Ghoshal recollected that Joel Cauchi attacked some of his victims right outside the store they were in. She was thankful to the employees of the store who rised to the occasion and helped them both hide. Speaking to Times Of India (TOI), Sairindhri said she remained behind the cartons for about 20 minutes along with Debashis Chakrabarty and many others. When the news of Joel Cauchi being neutralised by police firing reached the store, the employees unlocked the doors and asked the couple to hurry out through the emergency exit onto the street.

Sairindhri, who relocated to Australia in 2020, told the daily that their first instinct was to follow the scared crowd that rushed into the store they were at. Amidst the confusion, they decided to head for the back room anyway. Before the couple could decide what to do next, the news of stabbing outside the store spread among the crowd, she told the newspaper.

"Our main goal was to stay locked in until the police came. We are physically okay now but quite exhausted from the event, as well as from talking to our family and friends. We are still in shock and it’s been difficult for us to repeat the same thing again and again,” the IT professional told TOI.

Victims of the attack

Ashlee Good, 38, an osteopath, reportedly passed her baby to two strangers nearby before getting unconscious. Her family had issued a statement thanking the two men who held and cared for her baby. 

The baby is in a stable condition, said hospital authorities. 

Dawn Singleton, 25, was the daughter of well-known businessman John Singleton. She worked as an e-commerce assistant for a women's fashion outlet in Sydney. Her LinkedIn profile said that she was a communications graduate from the University of Technology, Sydney. 

ALSO READ | Killer Joel Cauchi appears to have targeted women, says police

Faraz Tahir, 30, the only man killed in the attack, was a Pakistani refugee who worked at the mall as a security guard. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia said Faraz had been in Australia for less than a year. 

Jade Young, 47, was a mother of two who had been an architect for more than two decades. Young lived in Bellevue Hill. 

Pikria Darchia, 55, was an artist and had worked as a designer for 10 years in Tbilisi, Georgia. In Australia, she studied business administration. 

Yixuan Cheng, in her 20s, a Chinese graduate student, was the final victim to be identified on Monday. The 27-year-old was studying for a master's degree in economics at the University of Sydney. According to Sydney Today, Cheng talked to her fiance, Wang, in China just minutes before the attack. Wang said the pair had planned to marry after Cheng graduated. 

According to police, a special strike force has been created to investigate the incident. Though Cauchi was known to the police, he was not arrested or charged in his home state of Queensland. 


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