New South Wales Ambulance paramedic fatally stabbed at Campbelltown McDonalds, Australia
Steven Tougher, a 29-year-old father of one, was stabbed outside Campbelltown McDonald’s while he and a workmate took a break towards the end of their night shift about 05h30am on Friday, 14 April 2023. The colleague activated a duress alarm, sparking a police response in which a younger man wielding a knife was tasered and arrested.
Homicide detectives later charged Jordan James Fineanganofo with murder. He was due to appear at Parramatta local court on Saturday, however he did not attend.
Outside court, Fineanganofo’s lawyer, Javid Faiz, told reporters his client had mental health issues and was in the hospital at Long Bay jail. “I’ve explained the offences and he is fully aware of the gravity,” he said.
Faiz separately said he understood his client had been undergoing extensive mental health treatment but was not receiving treatment at the time of the incident. “I believe he was off treatment and medication at the time,” Faiz said. “He’s got psychosis issues”. “He was confused all last night but is doing better today.” Fineanganofo is due to reappear in court on 28 June.
Tougher, who had been working for the ambulance service for about a year, was assisted by witnesses at the scene but died shortly after arriving at Liverpool hospital.
“The surgeons … worked valiantly, albeit futile in this instance, to support our colleague,” the NSW Ambulance commissioner, Dominic Morgan, said.
The slain man’s father said his son always wanted to be a paramedic and had just been posted to south-west Sydney, Morgan said.
“I’ve met with the family and as you can imagine personally, it’s very difficult to process.”
A GoFundMe page set up on Friday afternoon sought support for the paramedic’s partner, who is expecting a second child.
It is understood the couple intended raising their family in southwestern Sydney after he recently landed a posting in the area.
Dozens of flowers and cards have been laid at the scene as friends and family described the young father as a “beautiful soul” in tributes across social media.
One letter left by a retired paramedic read: “Prayer to you, brother. Your shift has ended. Rest in peace”.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association said on Saturday it was “devastated” by the death of Tougher, a paramedic and registered nurse.
“Our hearts go out to Steven’s family, friends and colleagues who face this awful tragedy,” the union’s general secretary, Shaye Candish, said.
“It’s heartbreaking when a healthcare worker doesn’t get to go home. Nurses and paramedics live our lives to help others, this is just senseless.”
Emma Gedge, a union councillor and midwife, spoke on behalf of Illawarra staff who worked alongside Tougher, their friend and colleague.
“A dedicated nurse and staunch union activist, Steven never hesitated to help people, no matter the circumstances,” she said.
“Steven never stopped advocating for his colleagues and patients. We will never forget his big smiles, cheeky giggles and charismatic personality.
“Steven was a true hero with the kindest soul, who worked towards his dream of becoming a paramedic for many years. He was a loving son, partner, father and friend. We are devastated by this senseless loss and send our deepest sympathies to Steven’s family.”
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