Sydney knife attacker Joel Cauchi 'had worked as male escort' before Bondi shopping centre stabbings

Sydney knife attacker Joel Cauchi 'had worked as male escort' before Bondi shopping centre stabbings

The Sydney knife attacker who killed six people in a shopping centre spree had recently advertised himself as a male escort, according to reports.

Four women, aged between 20 and 55, and a man in his 30s died in the Bondi Junction shopping centre, while another woman, 38, later died in hospital.

Another eight people, including a nine-month-old baby, are receiving treatment in hospitals around Sydney for different injuries.

Joel Cauchi, 40, from Queensland, had been known to police, and his family said he had been suffering mental health issues since he was a teenager.

According to MailOnline, he had been living in Sydney for only a short time and had profiles on Australia Cracker, Empire Escorts, and Escorts Australia.

In his profile, he described himself as an ‘athletic’ man seeking a ‘good time.’ He also worked as an English tutor and was a member of surfing groups on Facebook.

In a statement released through Queensland Police, the Cauchi family said: “We are absolutely devastated by the traumatic events that occurred in Sydney yesterday.

“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.”

New South Wales Police said they do not think Cauchi was motivated by terrorism.

He was shot by Sydney police officer Amy Scott who has been praised for her actions, with Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese saying she “saved lives”.

The Cauchi family statement added: “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.”

At a press conference in Bondi, commissioner Karen Webb was asked whether Cauchi was targeting women in the attack.

She said: “That’s been reported to me as well and obviously will be a line of inquiry.

“And that’s concerning, but that will form an obvious part of the investigation.”