One dead and two in hospital after man launches knife attack in Melbourne street
Police said they are ‘keeping an open mind’ over the incident.
One person has died and two are in hospital after a man went on a knife rampage before being shot in a busy shopping street in Australia.
Several bystanders and police officers were attacked by an assailant in Bourke Street in central Melbourne on Friday afternoon.
Horrifying mobile phone footage shared on social media showed a man lunging at police officers with a knife as a car was engulfed in flames nearby.
After taking several swings at one of the officers, the attacker was shot in the chest.
We’re live with Superintendent David Clayton following an incident on Bourke St in the CBD this afternoon. https://t.co/OkzIPBVb3m— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) November 9, 2018
Victoria Police said they had arrested a man who had been taken to hospital in a critical condition under police guard.
One eyewitness, who gave her name as Meegan, told ABC Radio Melbourne that she saw two police officers trying to tackle a man as a car burned.
“He seemed to be waving something, people around me screamed that he had a knife, but I couldn’t see clearly from where I was,” she said.
“And then I heard one loud bang. It sounded like a gunshot.
“And someone said they could see someone doing chest compressions on someone as an ambulance started coming up the street.”
Bourke Street in Melbourne CBD remains closed following an incident.— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) November 9, 2018
Closures have been set up with no access from Swanston St to Exhibition St.
Russell St remains open to traffic.
Trams not operating on Swanston or Bourke St around closure.
Updates at @VicTraffic pic.twitter.com/YQahS9Z0kh
Superintendent David Clayton said investigators are “keeping an open mind” and there was “no known link to terrorism at this stage”.
Officers had initially responded to a report of a car on fire on the popular shopping street at 4.20pm (5.20am GMT) on Friday.
He told a press conference at the scene: “Nearby police quickly responded to the incident. As they got out of the car, they were confronted by a male brandishing a knife and threatening them.
“At the same time passers-by were calling out that members of the public had been stabbed. Police shot the male in the chest and he is now in a critical condition under guard at hospital.
“Three people have been stabbed. Unfortunately one is deceased at the scene. Two other victims are currently in hospital.”
Police said the victims appeared to have been stabbed in the upper body.
There's been an incident in the CBD near Bourke St. Details are still unclear – but please avoid the area and always follow the instructions of emergency services personnel. Official updates will be provided by @VictoriaPolice.— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) November 9, 2018
Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, praised the police and bystanders who rushed to help “complete strangers”.
“Thank you to the @VictoriaPolice officers who responded so bravely, and the every day Victorians who came to the aid of complete strangers,” he wrote on Twitter.
Thank you to the @VictoriaPolice officers who responded so bravely, and the every day Victorians who came to the aid of complete strangers. Please continue to avoid the area. Anyone with information should attend Melbourne West Police Station to make a statement.— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) November 9, 2018
In one video posted on Twitter, the man can be seen repeatedly lashing out at two officers, apparently with a knife.
Two people, apparently members of public – one with a shopping trolley – then come to the officers’ aid.
After the attacker makes several attempts to strike one of the officers, the second officer appears to draw a gun before a single shot rings out.
The suspect can then be seen falling backwards on to the ground as onlookers exclaim in horror.
The incident occurred on the same street as a deadly car attack in January 2017 that left six people dead and at least 30 others wounded.