Australian police treating deadly knife attack as terrorism

09 November, 2018, 16:11 | Author: Carlos George
  • Policemen block members of the public from walking towards the Bourke Street mall in central Melbourne Australia on Nov 9 2018

At least one person was killed and two others wounded in a rush hour stabbing incident in Melbourne's central business district, police said on Friday.

Footage from the scene shows a man swinging a knife at two uniformed officers near a burning auto before he was shot.

Three men were stabbed by the suspect and one of them died at the scene.

"We are now treating this as a terrorism event", said Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, who said the suspect was "someone that is known" to police through family connections.

An explosion is heard on Bourke Street at 4:10pm.

Police were forced to shoot the man, who continually made stabbing gestures at them, near a burning vehicle. The police have also ruled out terrorism links.

Witnesses say they saw the man drive a truck into the Target centre and as the auto caught fire he tried to fight and stab police and bystanders.

It's at this point, with the attacker slashing at the police, one of the officers has enough time and space to shoot him once in the chest.

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Police said officers "initially responded to a report of a auto on fire" in the city centre at around 4:20pm local time, as people began to leave work for the weekend.

Video posted to social media showed chaotic scenes as bystanders scattered while the attacker fought with police and his victims lay bleeding on the footpath.

Officers were initially called to reports of a vehicle fire near Bourke Street, a busy thoroughfare, at about 16:20 local time (05:20 GMT). The man follows with the trolley and pushes it towards the attacker again, as a police officer opens fire.

Premier Daniel Andrews described today's incident as "an evil and awful thing" and condemned it.

Some cordons were lifted later, though the immediate crime scene would be sealed until Saturday, police said.

"Today, more than ever, we offer our thanks to Police and first responders for the unbelievable work they do for all of us".

'I heard a loud bang, I ran outside and saw everyone was running the other way, ' he told the Herald Sun.

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