An Irish man caught up in a shocking stabbing incident that left six dead at a shopping mall in Sydney has said he feared for his life. 

Clare native Niall Naughton was in a dressing room at the Westfield shopping center in Bondi Junction in Sydney's eastern suburbs when the attack took place on Saturday.

Joel Cauchi, 40, stabbed six people to death and injured eight others, including a nine-month-old baby. He was later shot dead by a New South Wales Police officer after raising his knife towards her. 

Assistant Police Commissioner Anthony Cooke commended the officer for her bravery, telling reports that she confronted the suspect by herself and helped save "a range of people's lives". 

Naughton told RTÉ Radio that he was in a dressing room when the attack unfolded. 

"Next thing somebody pulled back my curtain and said 'Get out, get out, get out. You need to go…there’s stabbing, someone’s stabbing," Naughton told RTÉ's Colm O'Mangain. 

Naughton said he hid in the basement of the store along with staff and other customers, barricading the door against any potential attacks. He added that there was huge panic in the shopping mall. 

"Everyone was in such a state of panic. Everyone was in such distress and overwhelmed, everyone was screaming and crying. It wasn’t a very calm situation. It was just horrific," Naughton said. 

"I was even thinking of my own family at the time. What if there is a possibility that something is going to happen to me and I’m going to die." 

Naughton said he couldn't reach his phone as the basement was so cramped. He added that he later escaped from the shopping mall through an emergency exit and saw "hundreds" of people running away from the attack. 

"There's a two-way street there and they were coming running across in front of cars.

"There was cars driving at full speed. It was like something you would see out of a movie. It was that scary.

"I just kept running. That's all I could do was run as far away from the shopping center as I could." 

Naughton added that the incident has "shook" him to his core and said he has a "good group of friends" who looked out for him on Saturday evening.