Cairns shopping centre alleged stabbing leaves two people injured
Photo: A 12-year-old girl is accused of stabbing two people inside the Cairns Central Shopping Centre. (ABC News: Kristy Sexton-McGrath)
A 12-year-old girl accused of stabbing two people at a shopping centre in Far North Queensland has been charged with multiple offences in what police have labelled a "disturbing attack".
It's alleged the girl slashed a 16-year-old as well as a 47-year-old woman who attempted to intervene at the Cairns Central Shopping Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Both of the alleged victims suffered cuts to their arms and were treated at the scene by paramedics.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mick Gooiker said dozens of shoppers witnessed the attack just after 2pm, triggering a large police response.
"Anything like this is deeply concerning, this sort of thing happening in a shopping centre at Christmas time," he said.
"It's very disturbing for the bystander who tried to intervene and didn't realise there was a knife involved and she's ended up with an injury to her arm.
"Obviously this is something we don't want people to see when they are doing their Sunday shopping."
He said the girl was standing outside the shopping centre when she became involved in a verbal argument with several other girls, who were known to her.
It's alleged she then produced a knife she had stolen earlier that day, and chased them into the centre.
The girls attempted to take refuge in a surf wear shop and one of the girls was allegedly stabbed while hiding behind a counter, while the 47-year-old woman who attempted to intervene was also allegedly stabbed in the arm.
Police tracked the girl a short time later and she was taken to the Cairns watch house, where it's further alleged she then spat in the face of a police officer.
The girl, from the Cairns suburb of Manunda, was charged with multiple offences including wounding, assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and serious assault.
She will be dealt with under the Youth Justice Act.
In a statement, Cairns Central manager Christie-Lee Jackson said they were assisting police with their investigation and that "the safety of our customers is paramount."