Sydney, April 16: Anthony Albanese, the Prime Minister of Australia, proposed on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, that a French visitor who valiantly repelled an attacker holding a knife at a Sydney mall by using only a bollard be offered Australian citizenship. Following the firing and stabbing incident on Saturday, April 13, that left six people dead and twelve injured, France national Damien Guerot has earned the nickname ‘bollard man’.

On Tuesday, Guerot received special recognition from PM Anthony Albanese, who thanked him for his "extraordinary bravery" in confronting Joel Cauchi on an escalator and stopping the 40-year-old assailant from reaching further victims. Sydney Stabbing: Multiple People Injured in Stabbing Incident at Westfield Bondi Junction Shopping Centre in Australia (Watch Video).

“I say this to Damien Guerot who is dealing with his visa applications, that you are welcome here, you are welcome to stay for as long as you like. This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen, although that would of course be a loss for France. We thank him for his extraordinary bravery”, Albanese said. The fact that a foreign national heroically intervened at the top of those escalators to prevent the offender from moving onto a higher floor and maybe causing more harm to civilians speaks volumes about the character of humanity during a time when we are dealing with challenging circumstances, the Australian PM added. Sydney Stabbing Update: Five People, Suspect Killed in Westfield Bondi Junction Shopping Centre Stabbing Attack in Australia (Watch Videos).

The incident on Saturday, which took place in a crowded mall in the eastern suburbs in Sydney, stunned Australians. There has been no accusation of terrorism in connection with the killing of five ladies and one Pakistani security officer during the attack. Given that Cauchi had a history of mental illness, police are looking into whether he particularly targeted women. However, the kindness of strangers supporting one another during the assault and the bravery of police officer Amy Scott, who went in alone and shot Cauchi, gave the Australians and Albanese some comfort.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 16, 2024 01:06 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website