A NSW Ambulance paramedic who was stabbed to death during his morning coffee run at McDonalds has been identified as a father who was days from welcoming a new child.
Steven Tougher, 29, pulled into the Queen St, Campbelltown, restaurant carpark in Sydney‘s south-west alongside a colleague before the end of their night shift early Friday morning.
At about 5.30am, NSW Police received a code one duress call from the paramedics when Mr Tougher was repeatedly stabbed in the abdomen.
Mr Tougher had only become a paramedic last year. It’s understood he was completing paperwork when he was brutally attacked.
His tragic death comes just five weeks after Mr Tougher married his wife Madison in mid-March.
He was just about to go on paternity leave ahead of the birth of their new baby.
NSW paramedic Steven Tougher (above) was stabbed to death outside a southwest Sydney McDonalds early Friday morning
Mr Tougher (right) married the love of his life, Madison (left), in mid-March and the couple were expecting a baby in coming weeks
NSW Police received a code one call at about 5.30am on Friday when Mr Tougher was repeatedly stabbed in the abdomen (pictured, police at the scene on Friday)
A GoFundMe for Mr Tougher’s widow by her colleagues has been created to help support her and their family.
‘Madison is due to have her second child in a few short weeks,’ the fundraiser reads.
‘We hope any funds raised through this platform can go to support Madison and her family during this extremely difficult time.
‘We extend our deepest condolences to Madison and her young family. We are thinking of you.’
The fundraiser has raised more than $51,000 within four hours.
The page added Mr Tougher’s family has requested privacy.
Police reportedly arrived within minutes of receiving the emergency call on Friday and Mr Tougher was rushed to Liverpool Hospital where he later died.
NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan met with Madison in the hours after the attack as well as Mr Tougher’s mother, father and sister and said they are ‘beside themselves’.
He said Mr Tougher’s father told him he knew from the age of five that he wanted to be a paramedic.
NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan met with Madison and Mr Tougher’s family in the hours after the attack and sad they were ‘beside themselves’ (pictured, Steven and Madison Tougher on their wedding day in mid-March)
Police tasered and arrested a 21-year-old man following the attack (pictured, police at the scene on Friday morning)
‘He wanted nothing more than to serve his community,’ Commissioner Morgan said.
‘He’d been with us for a relatively short period of time and had recently found out that he’d been posted back to south-west Sydney.
‘I’m told he was so pleased that he was going to be able to stay here and bring up his family.’
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also expressed his sympathies for Mr Tougher’s family and called for paramedics to be treated with more respect.
‘The death of a paramedic in Sydney this morning is as shocking as it is tragic,’ he said.
‘All Australians send our sympathies and condolences to his loved ones, friends and colleagues.
‘To every frontline worker, you are valued. You keep us safe. You deserve to be safe at work.’
Mr Tougher became a paramedic intern in May, 2022. Before that he worked as a registered nurse at Wollongong Hospital.
He studied his medical degrees at Charles Sturt University where he was the President of the online Student Representative Committee and graduated in mid-2022.
Mr Tougher graduated from Charles Sturt University and became a paramedic intern in mid-2022 (pictured, Mr and Mrs Tougher at his graduation last May)
Mr Tougher was set to go on paternity leave soon with his and his wife Maddison’s new baby set to arrive in a few weeks (pictured, the couple on their wedding day)
Former colleague and Wollongong nurse Tanya Selak shared a heartbreaking tribute to Mr Tougher.
‘Before he was a paramedic, Steven Tougher was our anaesthetic nurse,’ she said.
‘Kind, gentle, optimistic, warm. Our patients loved his cheeky grin.
‘Our Wollongong community is numb, shocked, devastated. I can’t believe it. Thinking of his family at this horrible time.
‘Rest easy mate.’
The 29-year-old father’s death has caused a massive outpouring of grief from the healthcare community who say selfless workers shouldn’t have to risk their safety for while on the job.
Devastated ex-paramedic Scott Fogarty told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I didn’t know him personally, but I’m a medically retired paramedic from Campbelltown station and my colleagues mean the world to me.
‘It’s just devastating. We go to work to help people in need and all we want to do is go home to our families in one piece.’
Mr Fogarty left behind a heartfelt letter at the makeshift memorial in front of the McDonalds alongside a bunch of flowers.
He wrote Mr Tougher had ‘paid the ultimate price’ and shed light on the harrowing scenes many ambulance workers witness.
‘We know the dangers and unfortunately are exposed to those dangers far too often,’ the letter reads.
‘Unfortunately for this young man, his duty and career has ended far too soon from the very thing that scares us all whilst on duty.
‘I am absolutely devastated, angry and heartbroken for my fellow Paramedic Brother.
‘Prayers to you Brother, your shift has ended, Rest in Peace!’
Mr Tougher (pictured with his wife) had reportedly dreamt of being a paramedic since he was five years old but was tragically killed just months after joining the NSW Ambulance team
Retired paramedic Scott Fogarty (above) laid flowers and a letter of solidarity at the scene of the stabbing in Campbelltown on Friday
A 21-year-old man was tasered and arrested at the scene following the attack and taken to Campbelltown Police Station. He is yet to be charged but remains in custody.
It’s believed police will allege Mr Tougher was in the back of an ambulance when the knifeman opened the sliding door and stabbed him multiple times.
Deputy Commissioner Lanyon said the 21-year-old man may have been driving around the Ingleburn and Campbelltown areas in a blue Honda Jazz Civic prior to the incident and urged the public to come forward if they had seen the vehicle.
When asked if the man in custody was known to police, Mr Lanyon said: ‘He is only known to us through a few interactions.’
Police have set up a crime scene at the McDonalds and have urged members of the public to avoid the area.
Two men were allowed to leave the cordoned just after 11am, one of whom appeared to be the McDonald’s manager.
He said he had been told not to speak to the media but when asked if the paramedic was going to be okay he said: ‘We don’t know’.
NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce broke down in tears as she expressed sympathy for the victim’s family.
‘The health system is one big family and to lose someone in this way is just incomprehensible to us,’ she said
‘And to lose someone in this way is incomprehensible to us.
‘I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the wife and family of the paramedic.’
Mr Tougher’s (above) death has triggered an outpouring of grief from the healthcare community who say they shouldn’t have to risk their lives while on the job
It’s believed police will allege Mr Tougher was in the back of an ambulance when the knifeman opened the sliding door and stabbed him multiple times (pictured, police at the scene)
Ms Pearce said the state’s health system has been through a lot over these past few years and she was proud of all workers who have continued to show up every day to help other members of the community.
NSW Premier Chris Minns said the stabbing was a ‘terrible situation’ for the emergency services community.
‘It’s a reminder that’s it a very difficult and dangerous job,’ he said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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