Steven Tougher (pictured) was stabbed to death on Friday. He was 29
Former patients of a paramedic reportedly stabbed 50 times in a McDonald’s parking lot remember the young father as a hero for saving their lives while he was on the job.
Steven Tougher, 29, was nearing the end of his shift when he sat in the back of his ambulance at 5.30am on Friday during a meal break outside the fast food restaurant on Queen Street in Campbelltown, western Sydney.
According to police, 21-year-old Jordan Fineanganofo pulled up next to the ambulance, pulled open the rear doors of the vehicle and unleashed his “frantic” and “unprovoked” attack.
The paramedic was taken to Liverpool Hospital in critical condition but later died. Fineanganofo was arrested and charged with murder.
a GoFundMe A campaign was launched to support Mr. Tougher’s pregnant widow, Madison, whom he married only about a month ago. The newlywed couple is expecting their second child in a few weeks.
More than 6,000 people donated about $400,000 within the first three days — many of whom either worked with Mr. Tougher, or had been under his care.
One woman, Amy, said he was one of the paramedics on hand who saved her partner’s life – just weeks before the alleged stabbing.
“While waiting for a hospital bed, Steven sat with us and shared photos from his recent marriage, talked about his love for his little one and excitement about his wife’s pregnancy,” she wrote.
Steven Tougher is pictured with his wife, Madison
“From our family to his, our deepest condolences may he RIP. He was an angel to our family.”
Another patient, Yvonne, said Mr Tougher had recently taken her to hospital in Wollongong: “I can’t imagine the grief his family is going through… Fly high buddy.”
A former colleague, Jenna, said she was “blessed” to work alongside the young father.
“You liked to talk about your wife, son and unborn child. You were always so afraid of bringing some bug or infection home,” she wrote.
“The way your eyes lit up every time you talked about Madison — it was just beautiful.”
A woman named Tanika attended Charles Sturt University with Mr. Tougher and said he helped her achieve her goals.
“You deserved so much more than this,” she wrote.
Some remembered his big smile and cheerful energy while working with him in the St. John’s cadets as teenagers, while others who worked with him at NSW Ambulance said he was a “lovely, caring” person.
Paramedic Steven Tougher and his wife Madison were married about five weeks before he died
Another woman named Amanda said she and her husband are both paramedics and had been in the same McDonald’s parking lot in Campbelltown “many times.”
“I am devastated that this has happened and my heart aches for you Madison, your children and for all of Steven’s family. Steven, your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten,” she wrote.
Police claim Mr Tougher was ‘completely defenseless’ during the alleged attack and was wedged between Fineanganofo’s car and the ambulance.
Bystanders tried in vain to intervene and talk over the alleged stabbing. In the end he was tasered by the police.
Fineanganofo did not appear before Parramatta’s bail tribunal on Saturday, but his lawyer Javid Faiz told the court his client would not apply for release.
According to court documents, Fineanganofo was diagnosed with psychosis in 2021, but was not given any medication.
The scene where Steven Tougher, 29, was allegedly stabbed 50 times in a McDonald’s car park on Queen Street in Campbelltown, western Sydney, Friday at 5.30am
Mr Faiz said outside court that his client was aware of the seriousness of the alleged crime, despite his serious mental health problems.
His case will return to court on June 28.
Mr Tougher’s wife Madison, his parents Jillian and Jeff, and his sister Jess issued an emotional statement Saturday afternoon.
“Steven’s dedication to helping others was best expressed while working as a NSW Ambulance paramedic and before that as a nurse,” the family said.
But it wasn’t just his medical expertise that made him exceptional — Steven’s compassion touched the lives of so many people.
“He had a way of calming fears, offering words of comfort and showing kindness in the midst of chaotic or traumatic events.”
The family thanked the help and support they received from the ambulance service and community members.