FIFO worker who stabbed seven people is identified
A FIFO worker who stabbed seven strangers with a large kitchen knife was a father-of-one who had been in an altercation with his boss just hours before his violent rampage.
Ashley Fildes, 34, was shot dead by police after wreaking havoc at South Hedland shopping centre in Western Australia on Friday – bringing a year-long downward spiral to an end.
Fildes had been suffering from a ‘deep depression’ and his marriage had fallen apart, a relative told The West Australian.
The AAA Asphalt worker had an altercation with his supervisor on the morning of the attack.
Following the dispute, a colleague drove Fildes from the work site and dropped him at the Lodge Motel where he had been staying. It was there that the father-of-one grabbed the long knife and began his violent attack.
Ashley Fildes, 34, was gunned down by police after stabbing seven shopper at South Hedland shopping centre in Western Australia on Friday
He chased motel staff and other guests with the knife before stabbing his first victim.
He then moved to the McDonald’s car park at the shopping centre where he stabbed a man in a car, before continuing through the mall and to Kmart.
Dramatic footage showed Fildes, who was dressed in hi-vis workwear, pacing through the centre brandishing the large kitchen knife.
The attack ended when Fildes was shot dead by police.
Major crime detectives have begun investigating the rampage in which seven people were stabbed, including a woman pushing her child in a pram.
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They will seek to determine if Fildes experienced a psychotic episode. They are also waiting on a toxicology report to see if illicit drugs were a factor.
Fildes, who is the father of a young girl, was on his first week of a new FIFO swing.
His marriage had broken down in recent years and he suffered from depression.
A relative told the publication Fildes was a ‘beautiful, beautiful soul’ and the violent rampage was out-of-character.
The violent rampage began at the Lodge Motel, where he was staying, before moving to the shopping centre
Esther Brooks (pictured) shared shocking pictures of her wound with Daily Mail Australia, after being stabbed in the back by a crazed stranger
‘He’s just not that kind of person. He’s just mellow and lovely. I know he had a lot of trauma in his life. The last few years have been really tough for him, but he’s not a violent person,’ she said.
‘There is just no way on this earth that Ashley could do something like this. He doesn’t hurt people — he helps people.
‘He was deeply depressed but never ever in my wildest dreams would I ever think he would hurt another human being.’
His parents declined to comment when approached by the publication on Saturday.
Friends and family visited his parents’ home throughout the day.
One victim, a 39-year-old man, suffered serious wounds and has been airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital where he will undergo surgery on Saturday evening.
The 34-year-old, wearing high-vis workwear, can be seen pacing through the South Hedland shopping centre in Western Australia on Friday brandishing a large kitchen knife
Pilbara district superintendent Kim Massam declined to comment on any potential motive for the attack or whether the offender had a history of drug use or mental health issues.
He said social media videos, as well as footage captured on CCTV and on police body-worn cameras, would form a key part of the investigation.
Up to 60 witnesses could be interviewed.
‘Those statements will be detailed,’ Supt Massam said.
‘They are there on behalf of our investigation for the coroner. The coroner will expect a thorough and intrusive investigation is undertaken in relation to the matter.
‘I think we’ll have a significant contingent of police officers and support staff in Hedland for the majority of this coming week.’
Two men and three women, aged 19 to 37, were treated at Hedland Health Campus but have since been discharged.
Another man aged 20 did not require medical treatment.
David Derschow (pictured, right) said his girlfriend Esther Brooks (left) were stabbed by the knifeman on Friday morning at a Western Australian shopping centre
Police say he stabbed a man at a motel and another who was in a car at the local McDonald’s before entering the South Hedland Square shopping centre and attacking a further five people.
Two officers attempted to subdue him and fired a Taser before he lunged at them with a ‘very large’ knife.
An officer fired several shots and the man died at the scene.
One of the victims was Esther Brooks, “trung tâm hỗ trợ facebook” who was slashed in the back while the man fled police.
In an exclusive interview, Ms Brooks shared shocking photos of her bloodied T-shirt, and told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I’m sore – but I’m OK. I live to tell the story.’
Her stunned boyfriend David Derschow said Ms Brooks had just gone on a coffee run when she was attacked by the crazed man.
The stabbing rampage took place in South Hedland in northern Western Australia (pictured)
‘She was just getting iced coffees,’ he said on Friday night.
Mr Derschow said he heard screaming coming from the shopping centre and walked up to find carnage.
‘She didn’t know him,’ he said, adding he had no idea why his girlfriend had been brutally attacked.
Ms Brooks was in such a state of shock she didn’t even realise she’d been injured in the melee. ‘When he stabbed me, he was running from police.’
Mr Derschow said: ‘She’s good now, she didn’t know she was stabbed until she asked if she was stabbed.
‘A Good Samaritan, within minutes of walking out, offered to take us to the emergency room.’
He later told friends in a chilling Facebook post: ‘Esther got stabbed!’
Ms Brooks is in a stable condition and has had her injury stitched up.
The South Hedland Square shopping centre reopened on Saturday, as did licensed premises which had closed as a mark of respect.
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said there was no indication the man was politically or ideologically motivated.
Homicide detectives have flown to South Hedland and their investigation will be overseen by the professional standards division.
A WA Police Union team has also been deployed to assist the two officers.
A police van is seen outside South Hedland Square (pictured) where multiple people were stabbed on Friday morning
South Hedland rampage: FIFO worker Ashley Fildes, a father-of-one, had altercation at work before violent attacks on strangers | The West Australian