The sister of alleged Sydney knifeman Mert Ney has broken her silence outside her home, apologising to the two victims and expressing her sorrow that one of them had died in the horrific incident on Tuesday.
A huge police operation was launched on Tuesday after a man – named as 21-year-old Ney – was arrested amid reports he was carrying a butcher’s knife and shouting “Allahu Akbar” in the street. He was initially accused of stabbing one woman in the back, who was later taken to hospital, but moments later a second woman’s body was discovered in a unit on Clarence Street nearby. Police have since confirmed the incidents are likely linked.
Now Ney’s sister has expressed her remorse that a woman lost her life, admitting she was younger than her and could have been continuing with her everyday life if nothing had happened to her. She added that no words could do her sorrow justice.
“She was like, younger than me. She could have been going out like within a few hours, to do shopping with her mum, eat dinner with her boyfriend, go speak to her girlfriends … and she can’t do that now can she?” the woman told multiple reporters, in a video shared by Nine News online.
“All the words that I can say isn’t ever gonna bring her back, is it? I want to say, I’m really, really sorry. No one should have… she was like, defenceless and everything.”
She admitted that any link to religion was news to her and insisted that “using religion as an excuse… it’s not right, it’s not correct”.
“I’m shocked, angry, disgusted, I hate my last name,” she added to reporters. “I don’t want to go near him because… (he did) something so despicable.”
Ney has been accused of the attacks, as well as running around the street brandishing a knife and shouting “Allahu Akbar”. The alleged knifeman was eventually tackled to the ground by hero bystanders Paul O’Shaughnessy, Luke O’Shaughnessy, Lee Cuthbert and Alex Roberts, using a milk crate and chairs. They have since recalled the moment they jumped into action on camera, in an interview with multiple reporters.
Paul admitted it was his brother Luke who first saw the alleged knifeman, who was wearing a blood-soaked top, jump onto a car and begin shouting around 2pm. He told reporters, in a video shared by 7 News: “We were like ‘wow, what’s going on here’.”
“So immediately, we just got the troops and said, ‘Right, let’s go and see if we can help’,” he said, before adding: “Obviously, he’s wielding a knife. I don’t know whether it’s an instinct thing or what, but we was like, ‘Right, we’ve just got to try and restrain this guy from doing any more’.”
Paul went on: “My brother, he was the hero. He got a grip of him, along with another guy we don’t know, and put a crate on his head. He was just mumbling religious things.”
While he admitted he was feeling “very rattled”, he shared his pride in his brother’s quick thinking and subsequent actions. Now, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has praised the heroic efforts, telling reporters in a televised press conference that the men were “heroes of the highest order”.
He went on to say they had searched the alleged attacker and his home, and found information on a thumb drive “about other crimes of mass casualties and mass deaths around the world”.
“Information was found on him that would suggest he had some ideologies related to terrorism, but he has no links to terrorism … he has no apparent links to terror organisations,” Fuller added.