Frenchman Who Helped Fend off Sydney Mall Attacker is Offered Australian Citizenship Months Before Visa Expires

The Frenchman’s attorney confirmed that he would be granted permanent residency in Australia following his heroic act

<p>DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty </p> Paramedics respond to stabbing attack at Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall in Sydney, Australia, on April 13.

DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty

Paramedics respond to stabbing attack at Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall in Sydney, Australia, on April 13.

A Frenchman who tried to stop a killer from hurting more people in a Sydney mall has been offered Australian citizenship, reports Sky News, the Independent and the Associated Press.

Damien Guerot, now regarded as “Bollard Man” because he used a bollard, tried to prevent Joel Cauchi from hurting more people during the attack at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction in Sydney on Saturday, April 13.

During the attack, Cauchi, 40, fatally stabbed six people and injured 12 others, one of whom is a nine-month-old baby.

After Guerot and his friend, Silas Despreaux, heard shouting about an attacker, the France native wielded a bollard, a sturdy post, at the attacker and blocked the top of the escalator from Cauchi.

“We just saw him coming… we were thinking, ‘We need to try to stop him,’ ” Guerot told Australian TV network Seven News, reports Sky News. “We tried to throw the bollard. We really wanted to stop him.”

The two then led police Inspector Amy Scott to the attacker, and Cauchi lunged at her with the blade. Scott then shot him. Cauchi was treated by paramedics, but could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Related: 4 People Stabbed at Sydney Church Service, Days After Mall Attack That Killed 6

<p>Dion Georgopoulos / The Sydney Morning Herald via Getty</p> Bondi Junction Westfield tributes.

Dion Georgopoulos / The Sydney Morning Herald via Getty

Bondi Junction Westfield tributes.

Following the attack, Guerot told Australian news networks that he was in the country on a work visa, which was set to expire in the next couple of months.

Upon hearing of Geurot’s upcoming visa expiration, his attorney, Belinda Robinson, started a petition calling for him to be granted citizenship, per Sky News.

Shortly after the petition, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Guerot is “welcome here [in Australia], you are welcome to stay for as long as you like,” reports Sky News.

“This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen, although that would of course be a loss for France,” Albanese added.

Related: Police Identify Man Who Killed 6, Injured Others During Mall Attack in Australia

“I support the prime minister’s generous offer [of citizenship],” opposition leader Peter Dutton told reporters, according to the Associated Press. “We would want people of that character in our country.”

Robinson confirmed with SBS News that Geurot would be granted permanent residency and now is waiting for official documentation.

“He got a call from immigration and the prime minister said that he can’t give him citizenship, but we’ll give him permanent residency,” Robinson told SBS News. “We’re just waiting to hear back when that’s going to become official.”

<p>Lisa Maree Williams/Getty</p> NSW police and ambulance vehicles outside Westfield Bondi Junction on April 13.

Lisa Maree Williams/Getty

NSW police and ambulance vehicles outside Westfield Bondi Junction on April 13.

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French President Emmanuel Macron commended the two French men in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Tuesday, April 16.

“Condolences to the Australians struck by an attack in a shopping center in Sydney on Saturday. Two of our compatriots behaved like true heroes. Very great pride and recognition,” read Macron’s post.

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