A 15-year-old has been charged with attempted murder after Australian rugby great Toutai Kefu was stabbed in the stomach in his Brisbane home while disturbing a burglary.
The former Wallabies player was left in a critical condition while trying to defend his family on Monday morning, police say, and is now at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Queensland Police say three juveniles were involved in the incident.
One of the boys, a 15-year-old from Goodna, was on Monday night charged with attempted murder, assault causing grievous bodily harm, break and enter and other offences.
He’ll face Brisbane Children’s Court at a later date.
Another 15-year-old boy remains in custody, while the third juvenile fled the home in Coorparoo and is yet to be apprehended.
Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said Kefu’s family woke to noises within their house and Kefu went to investigate.
“That person was accosted by at least one of the offenders in the premises and threatened to be stabbed if they didn’t hand over vehicle keys,” Det Supt Fleming told reporters.
“Other members of the family came to that person’s aid and, during this time, very significant injuries occurred to the family.”
Police say Kefu suffered “very serious wounds” to his abdomen.
A man in his 20s also suffered abdominal and back lacerations, a woman in her 40s injured her arm and a teen girl injured her hand.
Stephen Rashford, medical director for Queensland Ambulance Service, says emergency crews were dispatched following calls from police to attend a mass-casualty wounding.
“This was an incredibly frightening occurrence for this family … this level of violence is unacceptable in our society,” Dr Rashford said.
Police were told neighbours came to the aid of the family and caught one of the offenders, who was armed with a knife.
Police retrieved a knife and an axe at the crime scene and also believe a machete was used, though it wasn’t recovered.
In the early hours of Monday, a silver Hyundai iX35 was stolen from the Forest Lake area and police believe this was the car used to take the alleged offenders to Kefu’s property.
This car is yet to be located, Queensland Police say.
At least two of the offenders were allegedly out on bail at the time and under curfew but it’s unclear if they were wearing GPS trackers.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk passed on her thoughts and prayers to Kefu and his family, while members of the rugby community have also paid tribute to him.
Kefu played 60 rugby Tests for Australia over a seven-year career.