A man has been charged with murder following a stabbing attack witnessed by horrified onlookers at Westfield Parramatta shopping centre on Monday.
Police charged the 35-year-old after arresting him just metres from the cosmetic section of the Myer department store and near the body of his alleged 40-year-old victim who was found with a knife lodged in his chest about 10.30am.
Detectives say the man in custody, believed to be from Iran, had targeted his victim and stabbed him several times in the chest and neck after a heated 20-minute argument over a woman
The accused man has been refused bail and will appear at Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday
Moments after the victim was stabbed to death, the alleged killer ripped off his shirt and lit a cigarette as he waited for police to arrive on level four of the shopping centre.
Police said the victim, who was yet to be formally identified, died at the scene shortly after being stabbed with what was believed to be a 30-centimetre knife.
A witness who saw the attack from the level above said he watched horrified as the killer drove what he described as a "machete" into the victim just outside the Aquila shoe store.
"He kept plunging the knife in his chest, in and out, and paced up and down the shopping centre screaming at police," said the man, who did not wish to be named. "He taunted the police, [saying] 'what are you scared of?'
"Everyone was very scared and begging for someone to stop the attack ... There was blood everywhere."
Myer employee Bianca Zoratto-Ivanov said a friend of hers witnessed the stabbing.
"He heard a scream, like a man yell," she said. "He heard it again and then he heard two young women scream: 'He's killing him! He's killing him!'
"That's when he turned around and saw the incident was taking place. He saw the man facing the store and doing the stabbing motions."
Ms Zoratto-Ivanov said her friend, who was employed at Aquila, had told her all the Myer staff were locked inside shortly after the incident.
"The man had a big machete," she said. "He saw glimpses of it, but turned around as soon as he saw."
Acting Superintendent Jenny Scholz, of Parramatta police, said the stabbing was not gang-related and that it was an isolated incident between the two men.
"This was a targeted attack and Westfield's security and police responded immediately," she told a news conference on Monday afternoon. "I understand there was a connection between the gentlemen. We are trying to establish whether it was domestic related."
She said several women from the cosmetics section of Myer also saw the bloody stabbing and they were screaming and crying. One woman was taken to hospital suffering shock.
As children watched the Wild Animal Encounters Reptile Show a few floors below, up to 30 police swooped on the centre and rushed to close off every entrance to Myer.
Forensic specialists in blue suits with evidence bags filed into the store as thousands of shoppers tried to push past security guards to get a glimpse of what happened.
Police praised the quick response of the mall’s security staff, who closed off the area and kept several levels of the centre in lockdown.
Police have collected CCTV footage but are appealing for anyone who took any photos or footage on their smartphones to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.