French hero gains Australian residency for confronting killer in Sydney

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In this image made from video, French construction worker, Damien Guerot is interviewed on television following the Bondi Junction stabbing attacks on April 14. (AP)

SYDNEY, April 18, (AP): French construction worker Damien Guerot was made an Australian permanent resident on Thursday as a reward for his heroism during a knife attack in a Sydney shopping mall that left six victims dead and a dozen wounded.
Guerot was nicknamed “Bollard Man” on social media after security camera footage showed the 31-year-old standing at the top of an escalator at the Westfield Bondi Junction mall on Saturday and warding off knife-wielding Joel Cauchi with a plastic barrier post. Cauchi fled down the escalator and people on Guerot’s floor were safe.
Guerot’s temporary Australian work visa was due to expire in July until Prime Minister Anthony Albanese intervened with an invitation to settle in Australia.
Guerot told Nine Network Television he was happy about the opportunity to stay in Australia but felt mixed emotions. ”It’s just unbelievable,” he said. But, he added, ”How can I be also happy when … many people and families … are very sad for their loss?”
Guerot was also filmed brandishing a plastic chair as he ran toward Cauchi behind Police Insp. Amy Scott. Guerot along with fellow French national and work colleague Silas Despreaux were with Scott when she ended Cauchi’s rampage with a fatal shot.
Despreaux, like Guerot, had chased Cauchi and threw a barrier post at the killer but didn’t seem to appear on footage posted on social media or broadcast by the news.
French President Emmanuel Macron praised the pair’s heroism.
“Two of our compatriots behaved like true heroes,” Macron posted in French on social media. “Very great pride and recognition.”
Albanese told Guerot through a news conference on Monday: “You are welcome to stay for as long as you like.”

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