A 16-year-old boy is in a stable condition in hospital after he was stabbed while leaving an inner-west supermarket in what police are describing as a “swift and unprovoked attack”.
Police say the teen, his younger brother and a friend had finished shopping at Woolworths in Balmain around 6:40pm on Thursday when they were confronted by a man with a knife who asked for a cigarette lighter.
The man then stabbed the teen in the stomach and hand, police said.
The boy was treated by paramedics and rushed to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where he remains in a stable condition, but has undergone further surgery today.
Acting Superintendent Anthony Bell said the incident left the victim and his family traumatised.
“We’ve got a teenager here who by all accounts was just attending the local supermarket, departing with his friend and was approached in what was a swift and unprovoked attack,” he said.
Police conduct searches on Palmer Street, Balmain, as they look for a couple who fled the scene. (ABC News: Philippa McDonald)
Police said the attacker and a woman were seen fleeing the scene along Palmer Street, and they were searching for a man described as being approximately 180cm tall, with an Australian accent and ginger hair.
“We’re not sure obviously why this attack has occurred, it is an unprovoked attack, but we’ve got a significant number of resources out there now,” Acting Superintendent Bell said.
Detectives returned to the scene for a second time to search for further evidence or CCTV footage of the incident.
Local residents say they have been left shaken after the stabbing.
“I’m really shocked,” one resident said.
“I always feel very safe around this areas, it’s full of families and young kids so that’s terrible news, very shocking.”
“It’s just not the sort of thing that happens in Balmain,” another local said.