‘I’m so happy that you’re alive’: Sydney woman tracks down the Good Samaritan that saved her life during shopping mall stabbing spree

‘I’m so happy that you’re alive’: Sydney woman tracks down the Good Samaritan that saved her life during shopping mall stabbing spree

Warning: This article contains mention of sensitive topics including a tragic mass attack, please proceed with caution.

Different perspectives are still being posted to TikTok on the horrific attack at a Sydney mall last month. This week, one of the victims was able to track down the man who saved her life and thank him in person.

Despite the tragic situation which claimed the lives of five women and a security guard, there has been a single glimmer of positivity as one of the attackers victims was saved by a good Samaritan. Liya Barko was stabbed in the chest by Joel Cauchi, and the knife only narrowly missed her heart — but luckily, she was pulled out of danger and into a shop by a hero in a green T-shirt who was able to put pressure on the wound, saving her life.

After being treated for her life-threatening wounds in intensive care for 10 days, Barko was finally discharged from hospital and immediately made a public appeal to find the identity of the man in the green T-shirt who saved her life. It didn’t take long for her to track the individual down, who was revealed to be an ex-veteran by the name of Wayne Tolver Banks, and thank him in person. In heartwarming scenes shared on TikTok we see the emotional reunion with Barko claiming she remembers Banks, “I remember you, you were so tall.” Banks, on the other hand, is just happy to see her alive and well, saying “[I’m] so happy you’re alive.”

Going on to recount the horrific events that happened that day, Tolver explains what was going through his head when he saw Barko get stabbed by the assailant, saying “I said straight away to myself I’ve got to help you, because I didn’t want you to die.” Barko was one of many injured by the madman, but she could have easily been another to lose their life, had Banks not been present. A security guard was also severely injured in the chaos; in an interview with ABC News Australia, he recounted seeing his colleague being attacked by Cauchi, before being attacked himself.


Muhammad Taha, the security guard who barely survived being stabbed during the Bondi Junction attack, has told us his story after being discharged from hospital. #Bondi #Sydney #ABC730

♬ original sound – ABC News Australia

The city of Sydney is still reeling from the terrible act committed by Joel Cauchi, who seemed to be targeting women shopping at the Westfield Bondi Junction. According to an article from AP News, Cauchi was frustrated at his lack of a girlfriend, which is what prompted his vicious attack; the 40 year old also supposedly had a history of mental illness. In his attack, Cauchi murdered five women and injured 12 others, most of whom were also women. The only man to be killed in the attack was Faraz Tahir, a security guard at the mall. Cauchi’s rampage only came to an end when he was killed by officers at the scene.

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