New details surrounding the background and history of the man behind the deadly stabbing rampage at a major shopping centre in Sydney are continuing to emerge.

It comes as police continue to try and piece together exactly how and why the horrific attack unfolded at Westfield Bondi on Saturday afternoon.

Joel Cauchi stormed the busy shopping centre around 3.30pm, fatally stabbing five women and one man, and wounding a dozen others including a 9-month-old baby girl.

Police believe the attack was related to mental health and not terrorism, with authorities revealing the 40-year-old was known to them in Queensland, where Cauchi lived before moving to Sydney last month.

However, he had no criminal history in Queensland.

“The man has never been arrested by police in Queensland or charged with any criminal offence or had any domestic violence order against him,” Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Roger Lowe said.

“Queensland police have primarily had contact with this individual over the last 4-5 years… we are aware this individual has suffered with mental health.”


Assistant Commissioner Lowe said the man had been itinerant over the past few years, living rough across Toowoomba, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast before moving to New South Wales.

“From Brisbane or Carina or the Gold Coast, that’s been primarily the locations where the Queensland Police Service has had interaction, frequently back to his parents’ residence in the southern police region,” he said.

Authorities confirmed their last interaction with Cauchi was a “street check” on the Gold Coast in December 2023.

It’s understood Cauchi was wanded by officers completing knife-wanding checks as part of the “Jack’s Law” legislation, but he was not arrested.

Police described the process as “intelligence gathering”.

“A street check can be carried out for a number of different reasons,” Assistant Commissioner Lowe said.


Cauchi is understood to have had a strained relationship with his parents, who he was not in regular contact with.

They have since broken their silence over the fatal attack, saying they are “devastated by the traumatic events that occurred in Sydney”.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims and those still undergoing treatment at this time,” the statement said.

“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.

“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”.

Want more? Get more from Galey & Emily Jade