Husband of Bondi stabbing victim Ashlee Good faced impossible choice

The husband of Bondi Junction stabbing victim Ashlee Good was forced to choose between seeing his critically injured wife in one hospital and baby daughter in another.

Ms Good, attacked along with her nine-month-old baby Harriet, was one of six people killed on Saturday during Joel Cauchi’s stabbing rampage at the Bondi Westfield shopping centre in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

The child is recovering in hospital and on Tuesday was moved out of intensive care and onto a ward, NSW Health confirmed.

As distraught friends and family laid flowers and tributes at a memorial on Oxford Street outside Westfield, fresh details emerged of the harrowing hours after the massacre.

Dan Flanagan arrived at St Vincent’s Hospital in time to see his wife before she succumbed to her injuries, The Daily Telegraph reports, before the distraught father was raced across the city in a police car to the Children’s Hospital at Randwick where Harriet was being treated for stab wounds to her stomach.

The baby’s grandmother had been with her until he arrived.

Ms Good was shopping with Harriet at Westfield, pushing the baby around in a pram when they were set upon by Cauchi at around 3.30pm.

The 40-year-old armed with a knife stabbed more than a dozen people before being shot dead by hero NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott.

Witnesses described how Ms Good tried to save her daughter, handing her baby to two strangers as she fought for life with horrific injuries.

“The mum came over with the baby and threw it at me, and I was just holding the baby,” one of a pair of brothers told 9News shortly after the attack.

“I just helped out, just holding the baby and trying to compress the baby, and same with the mother, trying to compress the blood from stopping and calling the ambulance and police. We just kept yelling out to get some clothes to help us compress and stop the baby bleeding.”

Some of the slain mum’s friends and family, including high-profile lawyer Rebekah Giles, visited the memorial at Bondi Junction on Tuesday, which has expanded into a vast display of flowers and messages of support.

People could be seen hugging, lighting candles and laying bunches of flowers at the site in the middle of the pedestrianised mall.

“What she’s done is the instincts that mothers do to protect their children,” one tearful mourner told 9News.

A fundraiser for Harriet, set up with the approval of the Good family, has secured more than $500,000, blowing past its original $100,000 target.

Ms Good’s family released a statement after her death praising her as “a beautiful mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend, all around outstanding human and so much more”.

“We appreciate the well-wishes and thoughts of members of the Australian public who have expressed an outpouring of love for Ashlee and our baby girl,” the family said.

“We would also like to thank the New South Wales Police for their kindness and diligence in this tragedy and emergency services for getting our baby the care she needed as quickly as possible. To the two men who held and cared for our baby when Ashlee could not — words cannot express our gratitude.”

The Good family statement added that they “were struggling to come to terms with what has occurred”.

On Monday, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said it was obvious to her and detectives that the killer had focused on women and avoided men during the attack.

“The videos speak for themselves, don’t they?” Ms Webb told ABC News Breakfast.

“That’s certainly a line of inquiry for us. It’s obvious to me, it’s obvious to detectives that it seems to be an area of interest that the offender had focused on women and avoided the men. We don’t know what was operating in the mind of the offender and that’s why it’s important now that detectives spend as much time interviewing those who know him, were around him, close to him, so we can get some insight into what he might have been thinking.”

Cauchi’s father, Andrew Cauchi, said his son — a paranoid schizophrenic — may have targeted women because he was unable to find a girlfriend and had no social skills.

His family reportedly contacted authorities when they saw footage of the massacre on TV because they believed it was their son.

“He wanted a girlfriend and he’s got no social skills and he was frustrated out of his brain,” a tearful Andrew Cauchi told the media on Monday outside his Rockville home, near Toowoomba.

That came as reports emerged that Cauchi had been seen at two other Westfield shopping centres around Sydney — Penrith and Parramatta — leading investigators to question if he may have also been scoping these out for a possible attack.

He also searched on the internet for knives and “how to kill” before he stabbed six people to death at Bondi Westfield on Saturday, police sources told A Current Affair.

The other victims have been identified as Chinese student Yixuan Cheng, artist Pikria Darchia, 55, Dawn Singleton, 25, the daughter of millionaire businessman John Singleton, Pakistani security guard Faraz Tahir, 30, and architect Jade Young, 47.

The attack left multiple people in hospitals spread across the city as of Tuesday afternoon.

“One female patient remains in ICU in a stable condition and one male patient is in a stable condition on a ward,” NSW Health said.

“Two patients are at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. One female is in ICU in a serious but stable condition and one male is in a stable condition on a ward. One female patient is at Royal North Shore Hospital in a stable condition on a ward.”

— with NCA NewsWire