Disturbing details emerge of deadly stabbing at Sydney Royal Easter Show
The group behind the Royal Easter Show have revealed what changes will be made in the immediate aftermath of the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old worker.
A teenage boy who was fatally stabbed at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show was a worker who was on break and catching up with mates, 7NEWS can reveal.
The main ride area of the showground became a crime scene about 8pm on Monday when two rival groups began brawling in front of terrified families.
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The fight turned deadly when a knife was pulled and two teenagers were stabbed.
One, a 17-year-old worker, was killed while another suffered a knife wound to the leg and underwent treatment in hospital.
Police on Tuesday charged a 15-year-old boy in relation to the brawl but are seeking others over the incident.
“There are further suspects at large,” said NSW Police superintendent Danielle Emerton.
“There were three men involved, that we known of, that we can account for, but there were others that were involved in this incident.
“It may be one person, it may be a number of people.”
The 15-year-old was allegedly in possession of a knife.
He was to appear in children’s court on Tuesday charged with intent to commit indictable offence and custody of a knife in public place.
Tributes have meanwhile begun pouring in for the young man (who cannot be identified due to his age) was killed.
He was given first aid at the scene by police before paramedics arrived, but died while being transported to Westmead Hospital after losing a significant amount of blood.
NSW Ambulance Inspector Mark Whittaker said the teen was in cardiac arrest with a traumatic chest wound when paramedics arrived.
“Paramedics performed CPR and a number of other critical interventions at the scene before loading the patient for transport to Westmead Hospital,” he said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, despite best efforts, he couldn’t be resuscitated.
“There’s no doubt this would have been a very confronting scene for the dozens of witnesses who were out to enjoy an evening at the Royal Easter Show.”
Show patrons were moved away from the area, which was packed with people and is now closed while a crime scene has been established.
Videos on social media captured parts of the incident, including footage of boys brawling in a busy area near an illuminated ferris wheel, as groups of teenagers ran through crowds and a woman yelled, “Oh s**t”.
One image that emerged on social media showed a male in a black hoodie holding a knife behind his back as he moves forward with a group of others.
Another video showed a teenager being led away by police.
Detectives investigating the stabbing have urged members of the public to help identify witnesses and to hand over any mobile phone footage they have of the incident.
The Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW said it was shocked and saddened by the teenager’s death and the “adult carnival” rides area would remain closed on Tuesday.
“The RAS does not tolerate or condone any violence or anti-social behaviour and joins with NSW Police and the wider community in condemning this appalling behaviour and unnecessary loss of life.”
Following the teenager’s death, the RAS announced the main carnival would reopen on Wednesday after safety procedures and resources were reviewed.
“When we reopen the main carnival, additional safety and security measures will be implemented,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“The RAS has a zero-tolerance policy towards any anti-social behaviour onsite and we will continue to work closely with NSW Police throughout the Show to uphold patron safety.”
Some of the additional safety measures include closing the main carnival at 9.30pm, a heavier police presence, closing the main carnival entrance gate from 3.30pm, implementing random and continuous hand wanding, continuing bag checks, increasing visibility of metal detectors, additional lighting in the main carnival and allowing twilight ticket holders to enter the show from 3.30pm.
Organisers on Tuesday acknowledged that not all bags at the family-friendly environment could be checked.
“We have over 850,000 people that come to the Easter Show over 12 days,” Sydney Royal Easter Show general manager Murray Wilton said.
“To physically check everybody’s bag would be almost impossible.
“We do random checks, without a doubt, and we have metal detectors.”
While the Easter Show is open on Tuesday, it will take some time before the event recovers.
The showground was eerily empty on Tuesday, with barely more than 100 people making it through the gates before lunch.
Workers had to wait hours before being let in ahead of the gates opening at 11am.
But they say they’re barely thinking about work – just the boy who was tragically killed.
“A stabbing this year and a brawl last year, both in the rides area, there’s got to be a better security presence,” said one worker.
“It’s just pretty sad and devastating due to last night’s loss to the family, I send my love out to them.”
A photograph on social media showed the boy sitting on the ride without a harness when it was in mid-air, while three other children on the ride were restrained.
Fair Trading Minister Eleni Petinos said she had a zero-tolerance approach towards any operator who failed to provide the highest possible safety standards.
“I can confirm that I have instructed SafeWork NSW to explore shutting the Free Fall ride for the remainder of the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show if patrons’ safety cannot be guaranteed,” Ms Petinos said.
“The ride has been closed pending investigation.”
SafeWork NSW Inspectors will continue to be a presence for the remainder of the show.
Police had to be called around 9.20pm after two males were injured – one of whom was taken to a nearby hospital.
In the video, two groups of boys appear to go head to head.
One person ends up on the ground and a group of boys appear to kick the person beneath them as screaming is heard in the background.
Upon seeing the violence, the crowd runs away and those involved in the fight escape the scene among the crowd.
Another video of the violence at the event shows police intervening in a fight between a group of girls.
“Easter show 2021 or UFC match,” someone captioned the video.
Detective Acting Superintendent Andrew Evans told reporters at the time that two groups of about 10 to 20 young men had been involved in a “rolling brawl” that went for at least 100-200m across the show’s carnival area.
“It involved a significant number of young people that appeared to be in the area at the time,” Evans said.
“It’s serious criminal behaviour and it won’t be accepted.
“The Easter Show is about families attending and having a good time and the NSW Police are determined to ensure these types of events are void of violence.”
When police arrived, many involved in the brawl melded into the crowd and fled.
Evans said a 15cm folded knife was later found in nearby parkland but it’s unclear how the pair were injured.